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.

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