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play at

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyplay at
he/she/itplays at
present participleplaying at
past tenseplayed at
past participleplayed at
  1. 1
    play at something to do something without being very serious about it

    I think she's just playing at running a business.

  2. 2
    play at something if children play at something, they pretend to be someone else or to be involved in a particular type of situation

    A child playing at shopping, for example, will display early math skills.

See also main entry: play

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

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sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

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