play at being (something)

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play at being (something)

1. To role-play some activity. Usually said of children. Young kids love playing at being adults, and it's actually a very important form of education for them. Ever since he was able to talk, John has been playing at being a firefighter—I guess we know what his career will be!
2. To do something in an unserious, unprofessional, or uncommitted manner. With the deregulation of the industry, you ended up with hundreds of glorified accountants playing at being Wall Street hotshots. He's played at being a serious writer for years, when all he's actually managed to write has been a few crummy poems no one likes.
See also: being, play
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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