play for


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play for

1. To take part (in something) for a specific reason. We're not out here playing for fun—we're here to win! I'd prefer not to play for money, if that's all right.
2. To use something specific as the wager in a game or contest, especially a game of cards. None of us had any money, so we just played for marbles. His gambling addiction had gotten so out of hand that, at one point, he was actually playing a game of poker for the deed to his house.
3. In sports, to be on a particular team or represent a particular city, state, or country. The quarterback said he was excited to be playing for Philadelphia. He's been playing for the Yankees for so long that no one expected him to get traded. It was his dream growing up to play rugby for Ireland.
See also: play

play for something

 
1. to gamble for something; to use something as the medium of exchange for gaming or gambling. Let's just play for nickels, okay? We will play for dollar bills.
2. to play for a particular reason, other than winning. We are just playing for fun. They are not competing. They are playing for practice.
See also: play

play for

1. Take part for a particular reason, as in We're not playing for money, just for fun. A special usage of this idiom is play for laughs, that is, with the aim of arousing laughter.
2. play someone for. Manage someone for one's own ends, make a fool of, dupe or cheat. For example, I resent your playing me for a fool, or He suddenly found out she'd been playing him for a sucker. This usage employs play in the sense of "exhaust a hooked fish," that is, manage it on the line so that it exhausts itself. [Mid-1600s]
See also: play
References in periodicals archive ?
An audience of mostly African Americans gives off a different energy than a predominantly white audience, and these differences change the experience of the play for both the actors and the spectators.
There is little we can say about the play for reasons that were explained earlier.
Adaptive play for special needs children: Strategies to enhance communication and learning.
The dolls are dressed in fashionable clothes with simple closures and cool accessories for easy fashion play for little girls.
The respondents were proficient musicians who, on average, had played their instruments for thirty-six years and continued to play for seven hours per week.
We were all good musicians who didn't have to play for a living.