play at

phrasal verb

played at; playing at; plays at
: to do (something) in a way that is not serious
They were only playing at trying to fix the problem.
chiefly British : to play by pretending to be (someone or something)
She liked to play at doctors and nurses as a child.
often used in the phrase play at being (something)
boys playing at being soldiers
used to say in an annoyed way that one does not know the reason for someone's behavior
What is he playing at?

Dictionary Entries Near play at

Cite this Entry

“Play at.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

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