play a trick (on one)

(redirected from playing tricks)

play a trick (on one)

1. To carry out a trick, deception, or practical joke (against one). It turns out that the supposed alien visitors that people had been seeing were just a bunch of teenagers playing tricks on the entire town. I've got a great plan to play a trick on the school for April Fools' Day. The fake article had been in print in the renowned scientific journal for more than a week before the author revealed that he was playing a trick when he decided to submit it.
2. Of one's sense organs, to present one with false or misleading information. I thought I saw someone looking at us through the window, but my eyes must have been playing a trick on me. A: "Did you say something to me?" B: "Nope. Your ears must be playing tricks on you."
See also: play, trick
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play a trick on someone

 and play a prank on someone
to do a trick that affects someone. Somebody played a trick on me by hiding my shoes. The little boys planned to play a trick on their teacher by turning up the heat in the classroom.
See also: on, play, trick

play tricks on someone

1. Lit. to pull pranks on someone. You had better not play any tricks on me! Stop playing tricks on people!
2. Fig. [for something, such as the eyes] to deceive someone. Did I see him fall down or are my eyes playing tricks on me? My brain is playing tricks on me. I can't remember a word you said.
See also: on, play, trick
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
I love even the faults of Hardy; I will let him play me any trick he chooses (and he is not above playing tricks, when he seems to get tired of his story or perplexed with it), if only he will go on making his peasants talk, and his rather uncertain ladies get in and out of love, and serve themselves of every chance that fortune offers them of having their own way.
"Heh!" ejaculated Mombi, giving a sort of grunt; "that rascally boy has been playing tricks again!
When he had once passed the massive door covered with long square-headed nails, he fell into the midst of a troop of swordsmen, who crossed one another in their passage, calling out, quarreling, and playing tricks one with another.
Chickweed had been robbed by the devil, who was playing tricks with him arterwards; and the other half, that poor Mr.
They are the "fighting brigade," the "die-hards," larking about at leap-frog to keep themselves warm, and playing tricks on one another.
It appears to me, sir, that your friend in the city has been playing tricks."
Pain-waves and loss of blood were playing tricks with my senses; now they were quite dull, and my leg alive and throbbing; now I had no leg at all, but more than all my ordinary senses in every other part of me.
Sasha was for ever playing tricks upon him-- more especially when he was giving us our lessons.
The first sailor onboard the Taima Star ferry to catch a glimpse of the sub said he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him, reports the Liberty Times (LTN).
The place where the couple was found playing tricks on people is known to be a hideout for gangsters and criminals from all across the world.
PTI leader said the PPP and the PML-N wanted to protect the public money looted by their leadership and that was the reason, both the political forces were engaged in playing tricks with the present government just to escape from accountability.
She complained that Musimbi was playing tricks on her and decided to teach her that their husband was for sharing.
THEY say the camera never lies but is this swimmer really being swallowed by a whale shark, or are your eyes playing tricks on you?
Would that have been him, or is my memory playing tricks? I caught one of Ken Rogers' recent talks about the Everton district when he was at Skelmersdale library, and his personable manner was just as evident as in his writing.
Local people in the countryside tell them of "Yokai", forgotten ghosts, ghouls, and demons known for playing tricks on the living.