play with

phrasal verb

Definition of play with

1 : to move or handle (something) with one's hands or fingers often without thinking Stop playing with that pen and pay attention to what I'm saying.
2 : to handle, change, or deal with (something) in a careless way I played with the radio for a while but couldn't get it to work. It's important to teach your children not to play with guns/fire/matches. Don't play with my heart/emotions. You have to take this seriously. You're playing with people's lives!
3 : to think about (something) briefly and not very seriously I played with the idea of moving to Chicago but ended up staying in New York.

Comments on play with

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


an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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