play around

Definition of play around

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.

Word by Word Definitions

play play
  1. : swordplay

  2. : game, sport

  3. : the conduct, course, or action of a game

  1. : to engage in sport or recreation : frolic

  2. : to have sexual relations

  3. : to move aimlessly about : trifle

around play
  1. : in a circle or in circumference

  2. : in, along, or through a circuit

  3. : on all or various sides : in every or any direction

  1. : on all sides of

  2. : so as to encircle or enclose

  3. : so as to avoid or get past : on or to another side of

  1. : about

  2. : being in existence, evidence, or circulation


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