Definition of play someone up in English:

play someone up

phrasal verb

  • (of a part of the body or an illness) cause pain or discomfort to someone.

    ‘my rheumatism's playing me up’
    • ‘Oh I'm fine, a bit tired - Roger's back is still playing him up.’
    • ‘My knee is still playing me up and I'm still walking with a limp.’
    • ‘He'd deliberately eaten little in the hours before, so it wouldn't play him up.’
    • ‘After all this pressing of numbers my fingers were playing me up as I am well past retirement age.’
    • ‘Peering over the top of her horn rimmed glasses with suspicion, Rose wheezed, ‘Oh my aching bones are playing me up something chronic today!’’
    • ‘Gus never said anything; he carried on driving, but wondered if his sciatica was playing him up.’
    • ‘Now in his fifties, and prone to limp if his arthritis was playing him up, he was grateful for the chance to end his working life here.’
    be painful, hurt, ache, be sore, cause pain, cause discomfort, cause trouble, annoy
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