To play off

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:

  • play off — transitive verb Date: 1606 1. a. to set in opposition for one s own gain b. to set in contrast 2. to complete the playing of (an interrupted contest) 3. to break (a tie) by a play off …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • play-off — noun Date: 1895 1. a final contest or series of contests to determine the winner between contestants or teams that have tied 2. a series of contests played after the end of the regular season to determine a championship often used in plural …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • 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

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