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play dirty

Slang definitions & phrases for play dirty

play dirty

verb phrase

To use unethical, illegal, or injurious means; be deceptive and tricky; chicane: When he started in politics he didn't mean to play dirty

[1940s+; the related form play dirt is found by 1908]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Examples from the Web for play dirty
Historical Examples
  • "My dear General, when you play dirty tricks it is necessary that they be successful!"

    The Kaiser's Memoirs William II, German Emperor
  • But be careful, because if Jupiter Equilateral is involved in it, they're going to play dirty.

    Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
  • Now what is this but making use of religion to play dirty politics?

    The Demands of Rome Elizabeth Schoffen

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Word Value for play

9
10
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