play with fire


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

play with fire

 
1. Lit. to use fire as a toy; to experiment with flames and fire. Jimmy! I've told you never to play with fire!
2. Fig. to do something dangerous or risky. (Usually playing with fire.) Be careful with that knife! You are playing with fire! If you mess with Max, you are playing with fire.
See also: fire, play

play with fire

to do something that could cause you great trouble later Don't you know you're playing with fire when you get involved with someone who's already married?
See also: fire, play

play with fire

to be involved in an activity that could be dangerous (usually in continuous tenses) We're playing with fire if we continue with genetic modification of our food.
See play ace, keep cards close to chest, play both ends against the middle, act the fool, act the goat, bring into play, play out of your skin
See also: fire, play

play with fire

Take part in a dangerous undertaking, as in You're playing with fire if you go behind his back and commit his department. Although the idea behind this metaphor is ancient, it was first recorded only in 1655.
See also: fire, play

play with fire

in. to do something dangerous or risky. Going out at night in a neighborhood like that is playing with fire.
See also: fire, play

play with fire

To take part in a dangerous or risky undertaking.
See also: fire, play
References in periodicals archive ?
Her new single release, Play with Fire, will drop in early September followed by a new CD later this year.
AT FIRST thought, letting children play with fire seems highly irresponsible.
A POSTER designed by an 11-year-old pupil is part of campaign to remind children not to play with fire over the summer holidays.
Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown was last night told by his Scots members not to play with fire over devolution.
The video, called When Children Play With Fire, has been in the archives for 30 years and is believed to have been taken by a member of the public or a brigade photographer.
PIERCE Brosnan has learned the hard way that even a top spy like James Bond shouldn't play with fire.