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Verb: play up
  1. Emphasise or focus on to make more important or prominent
    "The introduction played up the speaker's distinguished career in linguistics";
    - foreground, highlight, spotlight
  2. [informal] Ingratiate oneself to; often with insincere behaviour
    "She is playing up to the chairman";
    - cozy up [N. Amer], cotton up [archaic], suck up, cosy up [Brit, Cdn]
  3. [Brit, informal] Function erratically; stop working reliably
    "my computer is playing up again";
    - act up [informal]
  4. [Brit, informal] Cause pain or difficulty
    "her back is playing up"
  5. [Brit, informal] Behave annoyingly or cause trouble
    "The boys have been playing up at school again"

Derived forms: plays up, playing up, played up

See also: emphasise [Brit], emphasize, underline, underscore

Type of: bring out, ingratiate, set off

Antonym: play down