play around

idiom

1
: to have sex with someone who is not one's husband, wife, or regular partner
He's not the kind of guy who plays around.
often + on
She's been playing around on her husband.
often + with
She's been playing around with one of her coworkers.
2
: to deal with or treat something in a careless way
When it comes to protecting his family, he doesn't play around.
often + with
You can't play around with diabetes; it's a very serious disease.
3
: to use or do something in a way that is not very serious
It's time to stop playing around and get busy.
often + on
I spent the evening playing around on the piano/computer/Internet.
often + with
I'm not really a painter; I just like to play around with paints.
4
: to move or change something or to think about something in different ways often in order to find out what would work best
+ with
I see you've been playing around with the living room furniture again.
The supervisor played around with our work schedules this week.
We played around with the idea for a while but eventually realized that it just wouldn't work.

Examples of play around in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Video highlights from throughout Travis’s career will also play around Dupré’s performances. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 15 May 2024 The first question out of the gate for Zaslav from moderator Andy Serwer, editor at large for Barron’s and Dow Jones, was about the state of play around Paramount Global. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 6 May 2024 Meanwhile, Colt and Jody play around at maybe, just maybe, rekindling their romance. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 1 May 2024 The seeds to creating this fascinating juxtaposition were planted early, with the artist (real name Neko Bennett) growing up listening to Jodeci, Sade, Anita Baker, Mint Condition, Intro and other old-school R&B and soul acts his mother and grandmother would play around the house. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 8 Mar. 2024 For a venerated luxury brand, being able to play around with that is seen as intelligent rather than dumbing down or vulgar. Tim Barber, WIRED, 26 Mar. 2024 There are notes, but then the actor’s voice gets to play around those notes and bring their own individuality to the roles. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Mar. 2024 Frontera, one of the headliners of the festival taking place for the first time in Austin, went on to play around half a minute of the norteño track, which inspired festival-goers to take their phones out and capture the surprise. Griselda Flores, Billboard, 3 Mar. 2024 While winning may take some time, given limits to how much Man United can play around with its player roster, Ratcliffe is hopeful that his leadership will eventually result in dominance. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 22 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'play around.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near play around

Cite this Entry

“Play around.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/play%20around. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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