play (something) off as (something else)(redirected from play them off as)
play (something) off as (something else)
To attempt to present something as something else; to manipulate others' interpretation or regard of something to suit one's purpose. He tried playing off the encounter as nothing more than a joke, but we could all see how dejected he was after she rejected him. Out politicians will try to play this law off as some kind of beneficial protection to citizens, but it is clearly meant to protect the interests of corporations first and foremost.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.