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English definition of “play at sth”

play at sth

verb uk phrasal verb with play   /pleɪ/ us  
to pretend to be a particular person or to do a particular thing, usually as a game: The children were playing at Batman and Robin.Faking and pretending to do something for enjoyment or interest, or without much care and effort, not in a serious way or as a job: She's only playing at being an actress - she's going off to law school next year.Celebrating and entertaining
(Definition of play at sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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