play hard to get


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play hard to get

To act as if one is uninterested in or shy around someone who is expressing sexual or romantic interest, especially as a means of making oneself more attractive to them. A: "There's this hot chick at the bar I'm trying to hook up with, but she's playing hard to get." B: "Dude, she told you to leave her alone. You should listen to her."
See also: get, hard, play
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play hard to get

Fig. to be coy, intentionally shy, and fickle. (Usually refers to someone of the opposite sex.) Why can't we go out? Why do you play hard to get? Sally annoys all the boys because she plays hard to get.
See also: get, hard, play
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

play hard to get

Pretend to be inaccessible or uninterested; act coy, especially with the opposite sex. For example, I know he has no appointments tomorrow; he's just playing hard to get, or Nicole is very popular, perhaps because she plays hard to get. [Mid-1900s]
See also: get, hard, play
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 hard to get

1. If someone plays hard to get, they pretend not to be interested in someone who wants to start a romantic relationship with them, as a way of making themselves more attractive and interesting to that person. She would also play hard to get with her admirers. She gleefully told a friend: `He called me four times last night and I didn't pick it up.' `Why don't you leave me alone?' she said. Larry grinned again. `Ah, you're just playing hard to get.'
2. If someone plays hard to get, they deliberately make it difficult for someone to obtain something that they need from them. Only a few days ago, the Social Democrats were playing hard to get as the CDU tried to get them into coalition talks. Developers queued up to buy the property in 1995 but Turner played hard to get, waiting for better offers.
See also: get, hard, play
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

play hard to get

deliberately adopt an aloof or uninterested attitude, typically in order to make yourself more attractive or interesting. informal
See also: get, hard, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play hard to ˈget

(informal) pretend not to be interested in somebody/something in order to increase somebody’s interest in or desire for you: She’s playing hard to get, but I’m sure she really wants to go out with me.My advice is, play hard to get for a while and they might offer you more money.
See also: get, hard, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play hard to get

To pretend to be uninterested in a romantic relationship.
See also: get, hard, play
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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