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play up - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyplay up
he/she/itplays up
present participleplaying up
past tenseplayed up
past participleplayed up

Related words

  1. 1
    [transitive] to try to persuade people to believe that something is more important than it is

    The newspapers have really played up the low voter turnout.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to cause difficulties or pain for someone

    The printer’s playing up again.

    My back’s been playing me up all day.

See also main entry: play
quiz invitation


the practice of looking at a product online before going to a conventional store to buy it

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Open Dictionary


a person who has or claims to have a lot of influence

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