play to

phrasal verb
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of play to

1 :to behave or perform in a particular way for (someone or something) in order to get approval or attention
  • He didn't mean what he was saying. He was just playing to the crowd.
  • He loves publicity and plays to the cameras every chance he gets.
2 :to make use of (something)
  • a film that plays to stereotypes of housewives
  • In his latest album, he once again plays to his strengths as a classical musician.

Word by Word Definitions

play play
  1. : swordplay

  2. : game, sport

  3. : the conduct, course, or action of a game

  1. : to engage in sport or recreation : frolic

  2. : to have sexual relations

  3. : to move aimlessly about : trifle


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up play to? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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