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toy with (someone or something)
1. To consider or think about an idea or plan. I've been toying with the idea of starting my own business.
2. To deliberately attempt to evade, deceive, or misinform someone (about something) in order to manipulate them or achieve some desired outcome. Quit toying with me, Karen—I know that you're involved in this deal! The serial killer is toying with the police, leaving false clues everywhere to muddy the investigation.
3. To tease someone. I'm just toying with you, James—I really do like that jacket.
4. To treat something as a plaything in order to idly amuse oneself. Cats are known for toying with their prey.
toy with someone
to tease someone; to deal lightly with someone's emotions. Ann broke up with Tom because he was just toying with her. He was not serious at all. Don't toy with me! I won't have it!
toy with something
to play with something; to fiddle with something. You are just toying with me! Please don't toy with the stereo controls.
1. Amuse oneself idly with, trifle, as in He teased her, toying with her as a cat toys with a mouse. [Early 1500s]
2. Treat casually or without seriousness, as in I'm toying with the idea of writing a novel. [Early 1800s]
1. To amuse oneself idly by manipulating someone or something; trifle with someone or something: The cat toyed with the ball in its paws.
2. To treat something casually or without seriousness: I had toyed with the idea of going back to college, but I never actually applied.