play one against another

(redirected from played one against another)

play one against another

To manipulate two opposing sides of an argument, conflict, competition, etc., against one another for one's own benefit or advantage. My father and my uncle are engaged in a bitter business rivalry. If I can play one against another, I might be able to secure some sizeable investments for my own company. Janet really dislikes Mary and wants to date her boyfriend Mike, so she's been playing one against another to get them to break up.
See also: another, one, play
References in periodicals archive ?
I think it's unfortunate that we did not form the physicians' organization (PO) and the PHO back when we had the opportunity That would have prevented or significantly retarded a situation where physician groups could be played one against another.