Behave coyly, flirt with, especially secretly. For example, Get to the point, there’s no need to play footsie with us. This expression alludes to two persons surreptitiously rubbing each other’s feet together. [ 1940s ]
Cooperate or curry favor with in a sly or secret way, as in The mayor’s been playing footsie with various neighborhood councils. [ Mid-1900s ]
- Play for
1. Take part for a particular reason, as in We’re not playing for money, just for fun. A special usage of this idiom is play for laughs, that is, with the aim of arousing laughter. 2. play someone for. Manage someone for one’s own ends, make a fool of, dupe or cheat. For example, I […]
- Play for keeps
verb phrase To be intent and serious to the point of callousness; play hardball: We’re out here man for man and playin’ for keeps [1861+; fr the game of marbles and other children’s games where the tokens may be either returned or kept by the winner] see: for keeps
- Play for laughs
see: play for , def. 1.
[pley-fuh l] /ˈpleɪ fəl/ adjective 1. full of play or fun; sportive; frolicsome. 2. pleasantly humorous or jesting: a playful remark. /ˈpleɪfʊl/ adjective 1. full of high spirits and fun: a playful kitten 2. good-natured and humorous: a playful remark adj. mid-13c., from play (v.) + -ful. Related: Playfully; playfulness.