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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Play up   /pleɪ əp/   Listen
Play up

Move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent.  Synonyms: foreground, highlight, spotlight.
Ingratiate oneself to; often with insincere behavior.  Synonyms: cotton up, cozy up, shine up, sidle up, suck up.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Play up" Quotes from Famous Books

... question or two . . . "Why did you say that about what a modern, free European woman would do in your place? Are you trying to play up to some trumpery notion of a role to fill? And more than this, did you really mean in your heart an actual, living woman of another race, such as you knew in Europe; or did you mean somebody in an Italian, or a French, or a Scandinavian book?" Marise writhed against the indignity ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... glad to be drunk. I look a fool"—this to his image in another glass. "I ain't though, or I wouldn't be here. Curse you, you grinning idiot"—crash goes his fist through the mirror—"don't grin at me. Play up there! Where's old woman? Fetch her out ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... stood in the door of a tavern; "he could do it if he liked, only he's too fond o' the fun." Young Gourlay flushed where he stood in the darkness—flushed with pleasure at the criticism of his character which was, nevertheless, a compliment to his wits. He felt that he must play up at once to the character assigned him. "Ho, ho, my lads!" he cried, entering with, a splurge; "let's make a night o't. I should be working for my degree to-night, but I suppose I can get it easy enough when the time comes." "What did I tell ...
— The House with the Green Shutters • George Douglas Brown

... work, but the men never faltered. Of course I went first, in case one of the beasts had the toothache or otherwise did not play up to our calculations on good nature. One or the other of the gunbearers was always just behind me. Only once was any comment made. Kongoni looked very ...
— The Land of Footprints • Stewart Edward White

... young and pretty, if you don't mind my saying so, and you remind him of what he's done out of . . . Twenty-four, isn't he? Don't give way, Mrs. Clowes, you've a long road before you; these paralysis cases are a frightful worry, almost as bad for the friends as they are for the patient; but if you play up it'll get better instead of worse. He'll get used to it and so will you. One gets used ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... the reticence of Judge Enderby with a fervor which would have caused that aged jurist the keenest delight. Then he made one more despairing call upon the reserve forces of memory. In vain. Still, he mustn't let her see that. Play up and trust to ...
— Little Miss Grouch - A Narrative Based on the Log of Alexander Forsyth Smith's - Maiden Transatlantic Voyage • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... sister, please, for I see they've stuck up a card with 'Esmeralda, the gipsy Princess, reads the hand and foretells the future' on it. So you boys will have to be mum. You can be attendants—mutes, by jove!—yes that's it. And, I say, kiddies, you will jolly well play up, won't you? Don't stand any cheek. Stick it on, you know. I can't tell you how important it is about——about ...
— New Treasure Seekers - or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune • E. (Edith) Nesbit

... a third, and Diderot said that there is a secret union among women as among priests of one and the same religion—they hate each other, but they protect each other. The latter fact we see frequently enough in the examination of women witnesses. Envy, dislike, jealousy, and egoism play up vividly, and he is a successful judge who can discover how much of the evidence is born of these motives. But beyond a certain point, women co-operate. This point is easy to find, for it is placed where- ever feminine qualities are to be generalized. So long as we stick, during an examination, ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... tiller of the rudder rests: this bar is full of small notches; and the bottom of the tiller, at the place where it rests on the bar, is furnished with a blunt knife-edge; the tiller is not stiffly joined to the rudder, but admits of a little play up and down. When the boatman finds that the boat steers steadily, he simply drops the tiller, which forthwith falls into the notch below it, where it is held tight until the steersman cares to take the tiller ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... for the sake of a ribboned coat, Or the selfish hope of a season's fame, But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote, Play up! play up! and play the game!' This is the word that year by year, While in her place the School is set, Every one of her sons must hear, And none that hears it dare forget. This they all with a joyful ...
— Hollyhock - A Spirit of Mischief • L. T. Meade

... your pony is saddled. I'm waiting, dear, in the court... ... Minnie, you devil, I'll kill you if you skip with that flossy sport... ... How much does it go to the pan, Bill?... play up, School, and play the game... ... Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed ...
— The Spell of the Yukon • Robert Service

... "Now, lads! Play up, Knype! Now, lads! Give 'em hot hell!" Different voices heartily encouraged the home team as the ball ...
— The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories • Arnold Bennett

... competitors? Yet we have certainly met singers and players who gloried in such accomplishments. A performer may also know every device and trick of the trade, he may be well aware of what will go down with his audience, he may play up to all their little foibles and weaknesses and give them exactly what they want: we can indeed scarcely quarrel with this. But so many are apparently content to allow the matter to remain on this lowly level. A singer who is thus able to play upon his audience and ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... the band summoned McFittoch to his post, by the following ireful expostulation:—"What are ye about, sir? Mind your bow-hand. How the deil d'ye think three fiddles is to keep down a bass, if yin o' them stands girning and gabbling as ye're doing? Play up, sir!" ...
— The Surgeon's Daughter • Sir Walter Scott

... thrashed out in London. Still, as the other man was the aggrieved party, I supposed that he was entitled to the choice of weapons; I supposed that his devilish sense of humour was at the bottom of all this, and I was determined not to give him the chance of saying I wouldn't play up. But why couldn't he tell me what was in his mind? How far did he mean to take me out to sea first? These questions and others raced through my mind during the whole of that night, while I sat back leaning ...
— The Tale Of Mr. Peter Brown - Chelsea Justice - From "The New Decameron", Volume III. • V. Sackville West

Words linked to "Play up" :   play down, set off, background, ingratiate, bring out

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