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 + onShe's been playing around on her husband. —often + withShe'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 + withYou 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 + onI spent the evening playing around on the piano/computer/Internet. —often + withI'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 —+ withI 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.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
Ask the Editors