play up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theyplay up
he/she/itplays up
present participleplaying up
past tenseplayed up
past participleplayed up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] British if children play up or play someone up, they behave badly in a way that they think is funny

    I’m exhausted! The children have been really playing up this afternoon.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to try to persuade people to believe that something is more important than it is
  3. 3
    [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