play dead


: to lie on one's back and pretend to be dead
She taught her dog to play dead.

Examples of play dead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the scene, Hunter was told to lay down in the dirt and play dead. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 The contestants are told to play dead and slump over, which makes the disparity even more goofy. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 According to research published October 11 in the journal Royal Society Open Science, female European common frogs will lay completely still and play dead to fend off potential mates. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 12 Oct. 2023 However, before the curling ball reached him, the referees had blown play dead, citing Rapids midfielder Cole Bassett interfering with Bingham. Mitchell Forde, oregonlive, 5 July 2023 Make loud noises, such as yelling, whistling or banging pots and pans. Do not run and never play dead. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 24 June 2023 However, the game clock stopped with 3.0 seconds left and an official whistled the play dead before Hurst attempted the shot, which was ruled off. oregonlive, 15 Jan. 2023 Except that the referees whistled the play dead, nullifying Sullivan’s return again, and a frustrated Vikings team was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Indianapolis Star, 18 Dec. 2022 Case in point: at a Thursday morning practice, the punt team sprinted down the field to cover a kick before Wilson whistled the play dead. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 1 Sep. 2022 See More

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

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Cite this Entry

“Play dead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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