Meaning of “play sth up” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"play sth up" in British English

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play sth up

phrasal verb with play us uk /pleɪ/ verb

to emphasize a particular quality or part of something, or make it seem more important than it really is, usually for your own advantage:

The official report plays up the likely benefits of the plan, but glosses over the costs.

More examples

  • It's said that he plays up his working class background in order to broaden his appeal.
  • It would be wise to play up your strengths rather than draw attention to your weaknesses.
  • She made herself out to be a real do-gooder, playing up her connection with aid organizations.
  • The programme played up the positive benefits of the drug without giving a really honest account of the drawbacks.
  • The fact that he was a war veteran was really played up in the election campaign.

(Definition of “play sth up” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"play sth up" in Business English

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play sth up

phrasal verb with play uk /pleɪ/ us verb

to emphasize something or try to make people believe it is important:

The ad campaign played up the refreshing qualities of bottled water, rather than claiming any medicinal value.

(Definition of “play sth up” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)