To play one's cards
Play Play, v. t. 1. To put in action or motion; as, to play cannon upon a fortification; to play a trump. [1913 Webster]

First Peace and Silence all disputes control, Then Order plays the soul. --Herbert. [1913 Webster]

2. To perform music upon; as, to play the flute or the organ. [1913 Webster]

3. To perform, as a piece of music, on an instrument; as, to play a waltz on the violin. [1913 Webster]

4. To bring into sportive or wanton action; to exhibit in action; to execute; as, to play tricks. [1913 Webster]

Nature here Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will Her virgin fancies. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To act or perform (a play); to represent in music action; as, to play a comedy; also, to act in the character of; to represent by acting; to simulate; to behave like; as, to play King Lear; to play the woman. [1913 Webster]

Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

6. To engage in, or go together with, as a contest for amusement or for a wager or prize; as, to play a game at baseball. [1913 Webster]

7. To keep in play, as a hooked fish, in order to land it. [1913 Webster]

{To play hob}, to play the part of a mischievous spirit; to work mischief.

{To play off}, to display; to show; to put in exercise; as, to play off tricks.

{To play one's cards}, to manage one's means or opportunities; to contrive.

{Played out}, tired out; exhausted; at the end of one's resources. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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

  • play one's cards right — or[play one s cards well] {v. phr.}, {informal} To use abilities and opportunities so as to be successful; act cleverly; make the best use of your place or skills. * /That millionaire started with very little but showed a skill in playing his… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • play one's cards right — or[play one s cards well] {v. phr.}, {informal} To use abilities and opportunities so as to be successful; act cleverly; make the best use of your place or skills. * /That millionaire started with very little but showed a skill in playing his… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • play one's cards close to one's chest — To conceal one s full intentions ● card * * * I play (or keep) one s cards close to one s chest (or vest) informal be secretive and cautious about one s intentions II see ch …   Useful english dictionary

  • play\ one's\ cards\ right — • play one s cards right • play one s cards well v. phr. informal To use abilities and opportunities so as to be successful; act cleverly; make the best use of your place or skills. That millionaire started with very little but showed a skill in… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • play\ one's\ cards\ well — • play one s cards right • play one s cards well v. phr. informal To use abilities and opportunities so as to be successful; act cleverly; make the best use of your place or skills. That millionaire started with very little but showed a skill in… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • play one's cards close to one's chest — ► keep (or play) one s cards close to one s chest informal be extremely secretive about one s intentions. Main Entry: ↑chest …   English terms dictionary

  • play one's cards right or well — idi play one s cards right or well, to maneuver skillfully …   From formal English to slang

  • play one's cards close to one's vest — play (or keep) one s cards close to one s vest see chest …   Useful english dictionary

  • play one's cards well — use a situation to one s advantage …   English contemporary dictionary

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