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.

Learn More About play around

Dictionary Entries Near play around

play a part in

play around

play at

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for play around

Cite this Entry

“Play around.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!