play with fire

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play with fire

To do something that risks causing one harm, damage, or misfortune; to do something dangerous. They're playing with fire if they think they can get away with dodging these corporate taxes. Jen swears she's being safe when she experiments with drugs, but I think she's playing with fire.
See also: fire, play
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play with fire

 
1. Lit. to use fire as a toy; to experiment with flames and fire. Jimmy! I've told you never to play with fire!
2. Fig. to do something dangerous or risky. (Usually playing with fire.) Be careful with that knife! You are playing with fire! If you mess with Max, you are playing with fire.
See also: fire, play
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

play with fire

Take part in a dangerous undertaking, as in You're playing with fire if you go behind his back and commit his department. Although the idea behind this metaphor is ancient, it was first recorded only in 1655.
See also: fire, 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 with fire

take foolish risks.
See also: fire, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play with ˈfire

take unnecessary and dangerous risks: Be very careful, Mike. You’re playing with fire.If you ask me she’s playing with fire, getting involved with a married man.
See also: fire, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

play with fire

in. to do something dangerous or risky. Going out at night in a neighborhood like that is playing with fire.
See also: fire, play
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

play with fire

To take part in a dangerous or risky undertaking.
See also: fire, 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.

play with fire, to

To court danger. This metaphor has been around for hundreds of years. Poet Henry Vaughan put it this way in 1655 (The Garland): “I played with fire, did counsell spurn . . . But never thought that fire would burn.”
See also: play, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
Stelling for teaching her child to play with fire. Laura was a sort of playfellow--and oh, how Tom longed for playfellows!
"With facts in our disposal through Defense Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs we clearly and sternly warned our western partners not to play with fire," Lavrov said regarding any possible provocation using chemical weapons, press tv reported.
We are simply blind to the problems under our noses, as we continue to play with fire.
"I really need better offers so that I can come up with more innovative daredevil techniques that always leave the audience mesmerised." Though Ahmad's main role is to play with fire, he keeps exercising, developing and diversifying his skills that he can play music and has also become a "professional DJ song player".
Mamata Banerjee on Saturday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliate organisations such as RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad over playing dirty politics during Durga Puja, asking them "not to play with fire".
Firefighters believe the blazes, which engulfed three fields measuring about 100 metres by 50 metres, were started deliberately and are now warning youngsters not to play with fire.
Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown was last night told by his Scots members not to play with fire over devolution.
Summary: Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Sep 16 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliate organisations such as RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad over playing dirty politics during Durga Puja, asking them "not to play with fire".
He added: "We are all taught not to play with fire but without proper training, people tend to panic when unexpected fires break out."
A POSTER designed by an 11-year-old pupil is part of campaign to remind children not to play with fire over the summer holidays.
But there is no need to play with fire. The Housing Executive was the first quango we needed when everything went wrong - and it should be the last quango to go before everything has been put right.
Coalition Partners MQM and ANP are likely to play with fire in the fiery session as debates could heat up keeping in view the situation in Karachi regarding target killing.
will drag the whole region to play with fire. This is not in the interest of the nations in the region," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.
On Thursday, the Iranian parliament s foreign affairs and national security committee said: "Saudi Arabia should know it s better not to play with fire in the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf."
His uncle Colin Pritchard said: 'Parents need to sit down with their children and tell them not to play with fire. It is not believed that fireworks were involved but kids and fire are on the agenda.'