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play hell (or merry hell)

British informal

Definition of play hell or merry hell in English:

1Create havoc: the kids play merry hell until she tells them to go to bed at once
More example sentences
  • Trouble was, it never got done, until the doctor himself arrived and played merry hell because I hadn't been given anything to eat or drink for almost 2 days.
  • Also, there was one weapon the enemy surprised us with in this campaign, and they played hell with us.
  • We caught up with her as she was driving home from a three hour trip along a mountainous Oregon highway that played hell with the cell-phone connection.
1.1Cause damage: the rough road played hell with the tyres
More example sentences
  • Of course, sand does play hell on your kit, but I don't really think that's the point the LA Times was trying to get across.
  • It plays hell with your social life.
  • Sometimes I think these people would be annoyed if Jesus did return, because it would play hell with their fundraising.
See parent entry: hell

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