play it by ear

idiom

Definition of play it by ear

: to do something without special preparation I don't know how they'll react to our proposal, so we'll just have to play it by ear and hope for the best.

Learn More About play it by ear

Dictionary Entries Near play it by ear

play into the hands of someone

play it by ear

play it cool

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for play it by ear

Cite this Entry

“Play it by ear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/play%20it%20by%20ear. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

More from Merriam-Webster on play it by ear

Britannica English: Translation of play it by ear for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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