play with

phrasal verb
played with; playing with; plays with

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.

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Cite this Entry

“Play with.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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