1. phrasal verb If you play around, you behave in a silly way to amuse yourself or other people. [informal] mess about, fool around [V P] ⇒ Stop playing around and eat! [V P] ⇒ There was no doubt he was serious, it wasn't just playing around. [V P + with] ⇒ Had he taken the keys and played around with her car? 2. phrasal verb If you play around with a problem or an arrangement of objects, you try different ways of organizing it in order to find the best solution or arrangement. [informal] [V P + with] ⇒ I can play around with the pictures to make them more eye-catching. 3. phrasal verb → play If someone plays around, they have sex with people other than the person they are married to or having a serious relationship with. [informal] fool around [V P] ⇒ Up to 75 per cent of married men may be playing around. [V P with n] ⇒ Robert was playing around with another woman.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers