play up to


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Related to play up to: Play Dough

play up to (one)

To try to win the favor of one, especially in order to gain an advantage. John's been playing up to the boss so he'll be considered for the promotion. You'll have to play up to the governor herself if you want to get approval for this project.
See also: play, to, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play up to someone

to flatter someone; to try to gain influence with someone. It won't do any good to play up to me. I refuse to agree to your proposal. I played up to him and he still wouldn't give in to me.
See also: play, to, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

play up to

Curry favor with, flatter, as in There's no use playing up to the boss; it doesn't influence him. This expression originated about 1800 in the theater, where it meant "to support or assist another actor." Within a couple of decades it was being used in other venues.
See also: play, to, up
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 up to

To curry favor with.
See also: play, to, up
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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