play false

Deceive or betray one, as in If my memory does not play false, I met them years ago in Italy. [Late 1500s]

Words Nearby play false

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use play false in a sentence

  • Duke Robert was threatening; "he shall know what it is to play false with the heir of William the Norman!"

    God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
  • Turning swiftly, he snarled and bit, at them in angry disbelief that his good little legs should play false with his stout heart.

    Greyfriars Bobby | Eleanor Atkinson
  • All of a sudden a rumour was spread abroad that the woman was about to play false, and to peach the rest.

    Lavengro | George Borrow
  • The dealer can play false cards; while the adversaries cannot afford to deceive each other.

  • My ears are strung to-day, And play false airs invented by the wind.