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1. In sports, any excessively showy action or maneuver during play done primarily to impress or entertain the spectators. Originally specific to baseball, it has since been extended to any sport. Rather than shoot the ball and secure an easy two points for the team, she instead attempted to slam dunk the ball as a grandstand play for the crowd.
2. By extension, any excessively dramatic, showy, or ostentatious action, behavior, or maneuver. Our manager is more concerned with making a grandstand play for the CEO than effectively running the office. The dictator's constant threats of war are more of a grandstand play than a legitimate concern to the rest of the world.
make a grandstand play
1. In sports, to perform any excessively showy action or maneuver during play so as to impress or entertain the spectators. Originally specific to baseball, it has since been extended to any sport. Rather than shoot the ball and secure an easy two points for the team, she decided instead to make a grandstand play by trying for a slam dunk.
2. By extension, to act or behave in an excessively dramatic, showy, or ostentatious manner; to show off. Our manager is more concerned with making a grandstand play for the CEO than effectively running the office.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
grandstand play, make a
Show off, act ostentatiously, as in His colleagues were annoyed with Tom for constantly making a grandstand play at sales conferences . This expression was first used for a baseball play made to impress the crowd in the grandstand (the section of high-priced seats at ballparks). [Second half of 1800s] For a synonym, see play to the gallery.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to make oneself conspicuous. Don’t you just hate the way that Pat grandstands all the time?
n. something done exceedingly well to impress an audience or a group of spectators. The grandstand play caught the attention of the crowd just as they were leaving.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
An ostentatious action; behavior designed to attract maximum attention. The term comes from nineteenth-century American baseball, where certain players deliberately sought the attention and favor of the spectators in the grandstands. It appeared in one of W. K. Post’s Harvard Stories of 1893: “They all hold on to something. . . . To faint or fall over would be a grand-stand play.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer