play with


Also found in: Idioms.
Related to play with: play with fire

play with

vb (intr, preposition)
1. to consider without giving deep thought to or coming to a conclusion concerning: we're playing with the idea of emigrating.
2. to behave carelessly with: to play with a girl's affections.
3. to fiddle or mess about with: he's just playing with his food.
Translations

w>play with

vi +prep obj to play with the idea of doing somethingmit dem Gedanken spielen, etw zu tun; we don’t have much time/money to play withwir haben zeitlich/finanziell nicht viel Spielraum; we don’t have that many alternatives to play withso viele Alternativen haben wir nicht zur Verfügung; to play with oneselfan sich (dat)herumfummeln
References in classic literature ?
He did not want to play with the mate a game that he ecstatically played with Skipper, because he had experienced no similar liking for the mate, two-legged white-god that he was.
It was the only tune she knew, but that she could play with one finger.
But he did not play with his precious bank-note, for he knew what it was at once, having been very observant during the week when he was an ordinary boy.
gentlemen were tired of play with him, and, in spite of Rebecca's charms, did not present themselves very eagerly.
The brother did not perceive this; he had turned round to play with Milady's favorite monkey, which had pulled him by the doublet.
He was his mother's favourite, and he let her put her arm round his neck in public because she was a widow, but he was also partial to adventures and liked to play with a chimney-sweep who had killed a good many bears.
With two of USC's top three cornerbacks (Terrell Thomas, Kevin Thomas, Cary Harris) having a combined 12 career starts, the Trojans seem to prefer to play with a bend-but-don't-break philosophy.
So in August 2005, she began taking golf lessons with PGA of America golf instructors at Evergreen Hills in their native Detroit, and she loves it: "It has been very special for me to be able to play with my son after years of taking him to the best courses and attending tournaments.
To learn to play with one hand steady and the other flee, the student should first play the steady part until it is "automatic," then play the free part with the nuance desired and finally, literally throw the two together.
Our term for this play with three options is "Triple".
It's consensual and trusting and people refer to it as "play" (as in "I want to play with you").
He challenges Richard Helgerson's notion in Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England that "the contest between orality and literacy" (134) is particular to historical drama and a matter ultimately of authorial promotion, before tentatively associating the decline of the history play with Jacobean culture's awareness of historiography.