One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Emphasize the extent or importance of something.‘the mystery surrounding his death was played up by the media’
emphasize, lay emphasis on, put emphasis on, accentuate, bring attention to, call attention to, draw attention to, focus attention on, point up, underline, underscore, highlight, spotlight, foreground, feature, give prominence to, bring to the fore, heighten, stress, accentView synonyms
- ‘The government is playing up the great energy savings these regulations will provide and selling the new laws as a ‘win’ to the environment.’
- ‘Predictions of 450,000 lost jobs are played up in the media, while the jobs that will be created to combat global warming are ignored.’
- ‘Now governments can get more support by playing the threat up and issuing constant warnings.’
- ‘His warnings were unheeded, and, as he predicted, Republicans played the issue up in the final weeks of the campaign.’
- ‘She took it much worse than I did, though I played it up for the girls a bit when they came around to coddle me.’
- ‘Fearful of being accused of complacency, they fail to allay public fears and often play up hypothetical risks.’
- ‘Fianna Fáil were wary of playing up their chances.’
- ‘While even the most diehard Celtic fan will find it difficult to muster up excitement, Sky are still trying to play the match up as if it's Judgement Day itself.’
- ‘They played up fears of juvenile crime and welfare dependency, but failed to challenge the belief that mothers worked only out of financial necessity.’
- ‘We certainly play that fact up whenever we've got an award-winning book.’
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