play off

play off  {v.}
1. To match opposing persons, forces, or interests so that they balance each other.
The girl played off her admirers against each other.
Britain tried to play off European nations against each other so that she would have a balance of power.
2. To finish the playing of (an interrupted contest).
The visitors came back the next Saturday to play off the game stopped by rain.
3. To settle (a tie score) between contestants by more play.
When each player had won two matches, the championship was decided by playing off the tie.
Categories: verb