Definition of play a trick (or joke) on in US English:

play a trick (or joke) on


  • Behave in a deceptive or teasing way toward.

    • ‘Derek heard it too, I thought someone was playing a joke on us but there was no one there.’
    • ‘I stared at the arrow for a few moments, making sure that my eyes weren't playing a trick on me.’
    • ‘Mr White, from near Southampton, had been asleep on the sofa when they decided to play a joke on him.’
    • ‘It's got to be one of our friends playing a joke on us.'’
    • ‘Scriptwriter Ronan Bennett plays a trick on the audience.’
    • ‘Are you sure it's not someone playing a trick on you?’
    • ‘Maybe someone's just playing a trick on me to freak me out.’
    • ‘Hey, maybe we can play a joke on Mom with something from the gift shop.’
    • ‘This time, I decided to play a joke on my parents.’
    • ‘I was still kind of angry because I thought that maybe somebody was playing a trick on me, or something.’
    • ‘‘They're playing a joke on us,’ he shouted back.’
    • ‘John is so astonished by his wife's behavior that he believes her to be mentally ill (after initially thinking she's playing a joke on him).’
    • ‘It turns out to be Elaine, who was playing a joke on him.’
    • ‘In Peter's last class, he decided to play a joke on the students by saying that they had an oral exam.’
    • ‘She said: ‘When I received the phone call saying that I had won the car, I hung up the phone on them because I thought it was someone playing a joke on me.’’
    • ‘She was hoping that maybe her mind was just playing a trick on her.’
    • ‘October 31 is a time when children go around ‘trick or treating’ dressed as witches and ghosts and threatening to play a trick on those who do not give them sweets.’
    • ‘Greg is a trendy, barefoot shrink, who plays a trick on his wife, in order to spice up their love life.’
    • ‘It doesn't matter, maybe he doesn't want to tell me his name or he was just playing a joke on me the whole time.’
    • ‘Maybe they were playing a joke on Heather, did you ever think of that?’
    deceive, trick, play a trick on, hoax, dupe, take in, mislead, delude, hoodwink, bluff, beguile, gull, make a fool of, outwit
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