Definition of play it straight in English:

play it straight


  • 1Act or perform seriously, without excessive embellishment or affectation.

    ‘she played it straight with the intent of presenting a believable character’
    • ‘The pair ham up their villainous parts while Nelson and the boys play it straight, confounding the audience about who to sympathize with.’
    • ‘He insisted he would tamp his sense of humor down and play it straight and earnest.’
    • ‘He is determined to make his actors believe that this insanity is sane, making sure, at all times, that they're playing it straight.’
    • ‘While he's good in comedy, the guy also seems to be fine at playing it straight.’
    • ‘It all sounds incredibly goofy but they're playing it straight and the results look shockingly good.’
    • ‘He plays it straight as the tweedy teacher's assistant who lusts after the same girl as the studly Meyer.’
    • ‘The fact he is playing it for laughs and playing it straight at the same time is on occasion an unsettling twist.’
    • ‘The voice acting is above average—even when the dialogue borders on ridiculous the actors play it straight.’
    • ‘Stone, to his credit, plays it straight, making something of lasting value as a result.’
    1. 1.1 Act in an honest and open manner, without deception or trickery.
      ‘corporate executives don't always play it straight’
      • ‘He has been around long enough to know that trust depends on playing it straight.’
      • ‘The only people I have trouble with are the ones who don't play it straight.’
      • ‘Perhaps they are paying the price for not playing it straight up.’
      • ‘I think if you just look at his books and look at his work product in the newspaper, you'll see that he plays it straight.’
      • ‘He played it straight, saying the party did not want to change the way pensions were calculated.’
      • ‘This is going to be a general principle of governing: no spin, play it straight, describe to the people the state that we're in, and then provide them and Congress a sense of direction.’
      • ‘He has spent enough years on Capitol Hill to know that auditors and examiners play it straight.’
      • ‘Play it straight, and your divorce will go more smoothly.’