play a part in
Also found in: Legal.
play a part in (something)
1. To have a specific involvement or participation in something; to fulfill a role in some undertaking. There's no use lying to the committee, Mr. Marshall, as we know for a fact that you played a part in your company's decision to hide its losses from investors. Listen up, Joe. You're going to play a part in this operation, too.
2. Literally, to portray a certain character in a performance, such as a theater or film production. I hear that Samantha will be playing a part in the director's newest film!
play a part in somethingand play a role in something
1. to participate in something in a specific way. I hope to play a part in the development of the new product. I want to play a role in this procedure.
2. to portray a character in a performance. He played a part in The Mikado, but it was not a major role. Larry wanted to play a role in the next play.