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play to the crowd

To act, behave, or perform in such a way as to receive as much approval from an audience or group of spectators as one can get, especially the lowest common denominator therein. The band still puts on a great performance, even after all these years. I do wish, though, that they played more of their new material and didn't just play to the crowd with their greatest hits the whole night. Rather than acting in a way that best suits the role and the play as a whole, he prefers to play to the crowd and soak up the spotlight when he can. She's a great basketball player, but she spends more time playing to the crowd than playing to win the game.
See also: crowd, play

the wrong crowd

A group of people, typically peers, who partake in and elicit immoral, criminal, and/or dangerous behavior and attitudes. Mary had been a model student all her life, but when she got to senior year of high school, she started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and her grades suffered as a result. Because there is no sort of network in place to keep young people active and engaged in this part of the city, it's all too easy for them to fall in with the wrong crowd.
See also: crowd, wrong

work the crowd

To excite or entertain an audience. Man, that singer sure knows how to work a crowd! They're going wild for him! The keynote speaker was late, so I had to work the crowd for a while to stall.
See also: crowd, work

crowd pleaser

Something that many people like. I hope you'll bring your famous spinach dip to the party—it's such a crowd pleaser! We need to work on a fun cover song for this upcoming gig, something that's a real crowd pleaser!
See also: crowd


Something or someone that is popular and attracts a large audience. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The critics are saying that this film is going to be a real crowd-puller, so we should buy our tickets before they sell out!

crowd around someone or something

to flock or swarm around someone or something. The children crowded around the department store Santa, eager for their chance at talking to him. Everyone crowded around the radio to listen.
See also: around, crowd

crowd in (on someone or something)

to press or crush around someone or something. Please don't crowd in on the guest of honor. Can you keep them back from me? I don't like it when they crowd in. The people crowded in on us and frightened us a little bit. Don't crowd in on the display case. It is an antique.
See also: crowd

crowd in(to) some place

 and crowd in
to push or squeeze into some place. Please don't try to crowd into this place. Too many people are trying to crowd in.
See also: crowd, place

crowd someone or something in(to) something

 and crowd someone or something in
to push or squeeze someone or something into a place or a container. They tried to crowd a dozen people into that tiny room. Then they crowded in one more. They all tried to crowd themselves into the same room.
See also: crowd

crowd someone or something out of something

 and crowd someone or something out
to push or force someone, something, or an animal out of something. Don't crowd your brother out of line! Don't crowd out my favorite plants with all your rosebushes!
See also: crowd, of, out

crowd someone or something together

to push or squeeze people or things together. See if you can crowd them together and get more in the row. I am afraid that I crowded the plants together too much.
See also: crowd, together

crowd something with someone or something

to pack too many people or things into something. The ushers crowded the room with visitors. Aunt Victoria had crowded the room with the busy trappings of a bygone era.
See also: crowd

crowd through (something)

[for a number of people] to push through something. The little group of revelers crowded through the door. They all tried to crowd through.
See also: crowd

crowd together

to pack tightly together. The tenants crowded together in the lobby. All the kittens crowded together to keep warm.
See also: crowd, together

far from the madding crowd

in a quiet, restful place. (From Thomas Gray's poem, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.") Julia sat daydreaming at her desk, wishing she were far from the madding crowd. Jane: Where shall we go this weekend? Alan: Anywhere, as long as it's far from the madding crowd.
See also: crowd, far

follow the crowd

to do what everyone else is doing. I am an independent thinker. I could never just follow the crowd. When in doubt, I follow the crowd. At least I don't stand out like a fool.
See also: crowd, follow

play to the gallery

 and play to the crowd
to perform in a manner that will get the strong approval of the audience; to perform in a manner that will get the approval of the lower elements in the audience. John is a competent actor, but he has a tendency to play to the crowd. When he made the rude remark, he was just playing to the gallery.
See also: gallery, play

Two is company, (but) three's a crowd.

 and Two's company(, three's a crowd).
Prov. A way of asking a third person to leave because you want to be alone with someone. (Often implies that you want to be alone with the person because you are romantically interested in him or her.) When Lucy followed Mark and Nora into the drawing room, Nora turned to her and said, "Two's company, but three's a crowd." Bill: Can I go to lunch with you and Tom? Jane: Two's company, three's a crowd, Bill.
See also: crowd, two

stand out from the crowd

to be very obvious or unusual We try to stand out from the crowd by producing movies and TV programs that no one else would produce.
See also: crowd, out, stand

a crowd-puller

  (British & Australian)
something or someone that many people are keen to go and see This year's final will be a major crowd-puller -- Manchester United and Liverpool are two of the country's most popular teams and are also fierce rivals.

play to the gallery

to spend time doing or saying things that will make people admire or support you, instead of dealing with more important matters Politicians these days are more interested in playing to the gallery than exercising real influence on world events.
See also: gallery, play

follow the crowd

Go along with the majority, do what most others are doing. For example, Make your own decision-don't just follow the crowd.
See also: crowd, follow

play to the gallery

Appeal to spectators for maximum approval, as in He peppers his speeches with humor and wisecracks about his opponent, clearly playing to the gallery . In this term gallery refers to the cheapest seats in a British theater and hence the least sophisticated audience. [Late 1800s]
See also: gallery, play

three's a crowd

Also, two's company, three's a crowd. A third person spoils the ideal combination of a couple, as in No, I won't join you-three's a crowd. This expression, alluding to a third person spoiling the privacy of a pair of lovers, was already a proverb in 1546. For a synonym, see fifth wheel.
See also: crowd


1. tv. to pressure or threaten someone. Frank began to crowd Sam, which was the wrong thing to do.
2. tv. to gang up on someone. They moved in from all sides, carrying clubs, and began to crowd us.

crowd (on) sail

To spread a large amount of sail to increase speed.
See also: crowd, sail
References in periodicals archive ?
One in 12dwellings defined as crowded or severely crowded, translates to 272,533 households, or 1,476,746 residents.
The union claims there are more than a dozen lines that remain crowded and out of court compliance, a point the MTA disputes.
That is, they may judge a level of density as less crowded relative to Anglo individuals.
Even if approved, Sanctura XR not likely to make a splash in crowded OAB market
A crowded garden, like the one at the Getty Center in Brentwood, consists of a wide variety of plants from many different botanical families.
While Burger's work shows decreased shorebird feeding at low tide, avian biologists suspect that crowded beaches create other problems at high tide, when beach space shrinks for both people and birds.
There were times when fights were up when schools were less crowded.
color) Often, many dogs are crowded into shelter cages because of lack of space partly caused by a new law animal that is surrounded in controversy.
In the summer, the gorge can be as crowded as any L.
Fed up with crowded buses, dozens of bus-rider advocates climbed aboard buses Tuesday to launch a ``No Seat, No Fare'' campaign they hope will push the MTA to add 1,600 clean-fuel buses to its fleet.
Though the agency has not identified what it considers an acceptable level of failure, Woodbury said, MTA officials believe the current 3 to 5 percent level of extremely crowded buses is not excessive.
As a result, the county is calling in all its available lifeguards to help patrol the crowded strips of surf in the north county area including Malibu and Zuma beaches, and pick up the people floating out to sea.
Hundreds of thousands of people crowded along the London streets watched in relative silence as the hearse made its way slowly between the two palaces.
We're only three hours into it and look, we're full,'' he said, sweeping an arm toward the mezethe, gyro and loukomathes food booths crowded with hungry patrons and the throngs milling around the park.
Since its beginning 10 years ago, Crowded House has regularly received the highest praise from rock critics around the world.