play about

(redirected from play about with someone)

play about

1. To engage in unstructured or loosely structured play (with someone or something). I wouldn't worry about the shouting—that's just the boys playing about. It's so nice to watch Tom playing about with his cousins. I don't want you playing about with that—it's not a toy!
2. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting; to fool about. Quit playing about and work on your book report already, Scotty! You two need to stop playing about and focus on finishing the job!
3. To tinker or fiddle with something. A: "What's that you're working on?" B: "I'm just playing about with a few of these transistors." Hey, don't play about with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 68 degrees. Grandpa's still playing about with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
4. To joke, kid, or play tricks; to mess about. Oh, come on, Tina, we're just playing about. We didn't mean it. You guys, Mom is not playing about. She said she would ground us for a month if she caught us again.
See also: play

play about

(with someone or something) Go to play around (with someone or something).
See also: play