1. [early 16C+] sexual activity; flirtation.
2. [late 18C+] any form of action, plan or scheme.
3. [late 19C+] the situation, the state of affairs.
4. [late 19C+] (orig. US) a show of interest, patronage, publicity; a chance; thus give (it/one) a play v., to try out, to give a chance.
5. [20C+] (US Und.) the performance of a single confidence trick, esp. one which requires substantial preparation, props etc.
6. [1930s] (US) way of life, well-being.
7. [1970s] (US black) a form of greeting that involves the slapping of palms [note 9C–14C SE play, to clap the hands].
[1930s+] (US) to support one’s own statement or action or those of another person in some way.
1. to express sexual interest in, to flirt with.
2. to give someone a chance; to make a deal with.
3. in fig. use, to frequent (and spend money).
[1970s+] (US black) to inform.
1. to act in a demonstrative, theatrical manner.
2. to pretend, esp. in an ‘obvious’ manner.
1. [late 19C+] to make sexual advances towards someone, to attempt seduction.
2. [1900s–20s] as sense 1, but in a non-sexual manner.
[1950s] to perform an action, usu. constr. with descriptive adj.
[1930s] (US) a general excl. of agreement or approval.