play possum

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To feign death; to remain quiet and still to escape attention or remain undetected; to lay low.

Etymology:

  • English play + possum, from the behaviour of the Virginia opossum, feigning death when threatened. First documented 1822.
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To keep the focus away from his client, the lawyer basically played possum during the entire complex trial, and his tactic paid off with an acquittal.

Submitted on September 01, 2009

Additional definitions for 'play possum':

play possumTo dissemble or to feign ignorance; to disguise or conceal something in order to deceive.
play possumTo feign sleep, illness, etc.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to play possum

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"play possum." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jul 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/play-possum_6153>.

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