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play up to

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Curry favor with, flatter, as in There's no use playing up to the boss; it doesn't influence him. This expression originated about 1800 in the theater, where it meant “to support or assist another actor.” Within a couple of decades it was being used in other venues.

QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
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 up to in a sentence

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