To play into a person's hands
Play Play, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Played}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Playing}.] [OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin to plega play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan to promise, pledge, D. plegen to care for, attend to, be wont, G. pflegen; of unknown origin. [root]28. Cf. {Plight}, n.] 1. To engage in sport or lively recreation; to exercise for the sake of amusement; to frolic; to spot. [1913 Webster]

As Cannace was playing in her walk. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day, Had he thy reason, would he skip and play! --Pope. [1913 Webster]

And some, the darlings of their Lord, Play smiling with the flame and sword. --Keble. [1913 Webster]

2. To act with levity or thoughtlessness; to trifle; to be careless. [1913 Webster]

``Nay,'' quod this monk, ``I have no lust to pleye.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Men are apt to play with their healths. --Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster]

3. To contend, or take part, in a game; as, to play ball; hence, to gamble; as, he played for heavy stakes. [1913 Webster]

4. To perform on an instrument of music; as, to play on a flute. [1913 Webster]

One that . . . can play well on an instrument. --Ezek. xxxiii. 32. [1913 Webster]

Play, my friend, and charm the charmer. --Granville. [1913 Webster]

5. To act; to behave; to practice deception. [1913 Webster]

His mother played false with a smith. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. To move in any manner; especially, to move regularly with alternate or reciprocating motion; to operate; to act; as, the fountain plays. [1913 Webster]

The heart beats, the blood circulates, the lungs play. --Cheyne. [1913 Webster]

7. To move gayly; to wanton; to disport. [1913 Webster]

Even as the waving sedges play with wind. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The setting sun Plays on their shining arms and burnished helmets. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

All fame is foreign but of true desert, Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

8. To act on the stage; to personate a character. [1913 Webster]

A lord will hear your play to-night. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Courts are theaters where some men play. --Donne. [1913 Webster]

{To play into a person's hands}, to act, or to manage matters, to his advantage or benefit.

{To play off}, to affect; to feign; to practice artifice.

{To play upon}. (a) To make sport of; to deceive. [1913 Webster]

Art thou alive? Or is it fantasy that plays upon our eyesight. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (b) To use in a droll manner; to give a droll expression or application to; as, to play upon words. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To play off — Play Play, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Played}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Playing}.] [OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin to plega play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan to promise, pledge, D. plegen to care for, attend to, be wont, G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play upon — Play Play, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Played}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Playing}.] [OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin to plega play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan to promise, pledge, D. plegen to care for, attend to, be wont, G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To pass into — Pass Pass, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Passed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Passing}.] [F. passer, LL. passare, fr. L. passus step, or from pandere, passum, to spread out, lay open. See {Pace}.] 1. To go; to move; to proceed; to be moved or transferred from one… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play one's cards well — Card Card (k[aum]rd), n. [F. carte, fr. L. charta paper, Gr. ? a leaf of paper. Cf. {Chart}.] 1. A piece of pasteboard, or thick paper, blank or prepared for various uses; as, a playing card; a visiting card; a card of invitation; pl. a game… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To play snow one's cards — Card Card (k[aum]rd), n. [F. carte, fr. L. charta paper, Gr. ? a leaf of paper. Cf. {Chart}.] 1. A piece of pasteboard, or thick paper, blank or prepared for various uses; as, a playing card; a visiting card; a card of invitation; pl. a game… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • List of A Bug's Life characters — This is a list of the fictional characters that appear in the Disney animated film A Bug s Life .AntsFlikFlik is a pavement ant with grand ideas on how to improve life, but he s constantly put down by other, more serious ants for his ideas and… …   Wikipedia

  • Play — Play, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Played}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Playing}.] [OE. pleien, AS. plegian, plegan, to play, akin to plega play, game, quick motion, and probably to OS. plegan to promise, pledge, D. plegen to care for, attend to, be wont, G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • play — v. & n. v. 1 intr. (often foll. by with) occupy or amuse oneself pleasantly with some recreation, game, exercise, etc. 2 intr. (foll. by with) act light heartedly or flippantly (with feelings etc.). 3 tr. a perform on or be able to perform on (a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • play — play1 W1S1 [pleı] v ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(children)¦ 2¦(sports/games)¦ 3¦(music)¦ 4¦(radio/cd etc)¦ 5¦(theatre/film)¦ 6 play a part/role 7 play ball 8¦(pretend)¦ 9¦(behave)¦ 10 play games …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • play — play1 [ pleı ] verb *** ▸ 1 take part in sport/game ▸ 2 make music/sound ▸ 3 have part in play, etc. ▸ 4 when children have fun ▸ 5 when light moves ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) intransitive or transitive to take part in a sport or game: The girls are out… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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