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play (one) false
old-fashioned To deceive one; to cheat or swindle one. I insisted that they offer something as a collateral before we entered the deal, lest they play us false with their offer. The rogue had been playing the old lady false for nearly a year, preying on her trusting nature to bilk her out of her fortune.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Deceive or betray one, as in If my memory does not play false, I met them years ago in Italy. [Late 1500s]
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.