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To emphasize, exaggerate, or bolster the importance or remarkability of something, perhaps while or as a means of ignoring or downplaying other things. A noun or pronoun can be used between "play" and "up." Everyone plays the film up as this timeless, flawless classic, but I've always thought it to just be a confusing mess. Naturally, the government is playing up the benefits the region has seen since their involvement, failing to mention the massive numbers of civilian casualties that resulted from the effort.
play someone or something up
to make someone or something seem to be more important. The director tried to play Ann up, but she was not really a star. Try to play up the good qualities of our product.
play something up
to emphasize something; to be a booster of something. The press played the scandal up so much that everyone became bored with it. They really played up the scandal.
Emphasize or publicize, as in In the press interview, the coach played up the importance of having a strong defense. [c. 1900] Also see play down; play up to.
To emphasize something or the importance of something in order to make a better impression: The newspaper played up the scandal in order to excite its readers. Your experience with computers is your strongest qualification, so be sure to play that up in the interview.