To pretend to be dead, a trick used by opossums to defend themselves from predators: “Everyone thought the old con man had died, but it turned out he was just playing possum.” By extension, it also means “to pretend to be asleep, or to lie low”: “Come on, Harry, open your door. You can't play possum forever.”
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Words nearby play possum
Example sentences from the Web for play possum
Have there been discussions with FX regarding an Archer movie, and how do you think that would play out?‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Father Joel Román Salazar died in a car crash in 2013; his death was ruled an accident, but the suspicion of foul play persists.
He plays an aging punk rocker and I play the drummer from his old band.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
When fathers hold and play with their children, oxytocin and prolactin kick in, priming them for bonding.
Ironically, the play deals with the ‘management’ of information by the Establishment.Harry’s Daddy, and Diana’s ‘Murder’: Royal Rumors In a New Play|Tom Sykes|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I assure you, no matter how beautifully we play any piece, the minute Liszt plays it, you would scarcely recognize it!
But I hope at least to play to him a few times, and what is more important, to hear him play repeatedly.
To fill up the time till Liszt came, our hostess made us play, one after the other, beginning with the latest arrival.
Again the sallow fingers began to play with the book-covers, passing from one to another, but always slowly and gently.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
Her attachment to impressionism leads this artist to many experiments in color—or, as one critic wrote, "to play with color."Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement
Idioms and Phrases with play possum
Pretend to be dead or asleep, as in Max always plays possum when it's time to clean up his room. This expression alludes to the fact that the opossum falls into an apparent coma when caught, giving the appearance of death. [1820s]