play for time


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play for time

To delay (something) or stall (someone) in order to gain more time. My computer crashed just as the meeting began, so I had to play for time while I waited for it to reboot. One of the first principles of hostage negotiation is to play for time at every opportunity.
See also: for, play, time
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play for time

Fig. to stall; to act in such a way as to gain time. I'll play for time while you sneak out the window. The lawyers for the defense were playing for time while they looked for a witness.
See also: for, play, time
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

play for time

Use delaying tactics, temporize, as in The defense attorney decided to play for time while they searched for an eyewitness. [c. 1940]
See also: for, play, time
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.

play for time

COMMON If you play for time, you try to delay something so that you can have more time to be ready for it. Pierce was playing for time, trying to decide if the call was genuine or not. The government is playing for time by asking for a new report.
See also: for, play, time
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

play for time

use specious excuses or unnecessary manoeuvres to gain time.
See also: for, play, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play for ˈtime

try to delay something or prevent something from happening now because you think there will be an advantage to you if you act later: If I can play for time a bit longer, they might lower their price.
See also: for, play, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play for time

To use delaying tactics; temporize.
See also: for, play, time
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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