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. 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 pass upon — 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 come upon — Come Come, v. i. [imp. {Came}; p. p. {Come}; p. pr & vb. n. {Coming}.] [OE. cumen, comen, AS. cuman; akin to OS.kuman, D. komen, OHG. queman, G. kommen, Icel. koma, Sw. komma, Dan. komme, Goth. giman, L. venire (gvenire), Gr. ? to go, Skr. gam.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To double upon — Double Dou ble, v. i. 1. To be increased to twice the sum, number, quantity, length, or value; to increase or grow to twice as much. [1913 Webster] T is observed in particular nations, that within the space of three hundred years, notwithstanding …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To set upon — Set Set (s[e^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Set}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Setting}.] [OE. setten, AS. setton; akin to OS. settian, OFries. setta, D. zetten, OHG. sezzen, G. setzen, Icel. setja, Sw. s[ a]tta, Dan. s?tte, Goth. satjan; causative from the root… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To stand upon — Stand Stand (st[a^]nd), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Stood} (st[oo^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Standing}.] [OE. standen; AS. standan; akin to OFries. stonda, st[=a]n, D. staan, OS. standan, st[=a]n, OHG. stantan, st[=a]n, G. stehen, Icel. standa, Dan. staae,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To call upon — Call Call, v. i. 1. To speak in loud voice; to cry out; to address by name; sometimes with to. [1913 Webster] You must call to the nurse. Shak. [1913 Webster] The angel of God called to Hagar. Gen. xxi. 17. [1913 Webster] 2. To make a demand,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

  • play upon — PHRASAL VERB To play upon something means the same as to play on it. [FORMAL] …   English dictionary

  • To play hob — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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