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English definition of “play up”

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play up

verb uk phrasal verb with play   /pleɪ/ us  

(CHILD)

UK When children play up, they behave badly: The boys have been playing up at school again.

(MACHINE)

If a machine plays up, it does not work as it should: The starter motor was playing up again.
(Definition of play up from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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