He always played things by ear. 1 decade ago. "Play it by ear" refers to a musical sense, as in playing an instrument without the sheet music to read, so you are going to play what you hear, or play it by ear. Answer (1 of 6): The phrase 'play it by ear' means to improvise on something that has not been pre planned. play it by ear: 1 v decide on one's actions as one goes along, depending on the situation “She didn't know what to expect from her new job, so she played it by ear ” Type of: act , move perform an action, or work out or perform (an action) ", 2. Definition and synonyms of play it by ear from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.. b) if someone can play a musical instrument by ear, they can play a tune without looking at written music → play Examples from the Corpus play something by ear • As he has no political party that can provide him with practical support, he is forced to play it by ear. Basically, you are reproducing a song that you have already heard on the piano. 1. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. To learn and remember them better - take Idioms Spelling Test Read meaning of idioms. 1 play (music) which you have heard or remembered but which you have not seen written down: She can’t read music very well, so she plays all the tunes by ear. Whenever we play it by ear we just stay home and don't do anything at all. This term for playing instrumental music without reading the notes from a score, but simply going by the sound, dates from the seventeenth century. Another word for play it by ear: improvise, wing it, ad-lib, extemporize | Collins English Thesaurus — Let's play it by ear and not reserve a ride back to the hotel. — I know how to play many Elton John songs on the piano by ear. 3 0. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/play+it+by+ear, 1. The way he can play pieces by ear after hearing them just once is so impressive! Start studying Match the Idiom to its meaning.. It refers to an act that has not been planned in advance, just performed impromptu as and when a situation calls for it. Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary, the webmaster's page for free fun content, play one off against another/each other/the other. To play it by ear means to deal with a situation as it unfolds without a definite plan; to make changes or decisions and proceed gradually as a situation demands, without planning out one’s responses in advance; to improvise. 1 decade ago. to do something spontaneously without making a plan in advance; to do something without preparation or practice; Example sentences — I don't know exactly what I'm going to do this weekend; I'm going to play it by ear. I'm playing it by ear. When ready - begin a Quiz. Synonyms for play it by ear include improvise, extemporise, extemporize, ad lib, wing it, ad libitum, take it as it comes, think on one's feet, fly by the seat of one's pants and make it up as one goes along. Each set has an illustrated idiom card and a definition card. What's the meaning of the phrase 'Play by ear'? Another way of saying "go with the flow." For example, we might say that Mozart had a great ear because he could play songs after only hearing them. Even then, though, I would probably say, “Play … — Would you rather we make a reservation for dinner or should we play it by ear? I don't know what I will do when she will come in front of me. Meaning | Synonyms. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! Match the Idiom to its meaning. — Let's make a plan for tomorrow. Explanation: The original meaning is to play music without using a score or music sheet to look at.Just as a musician will play something unplanned without looking at something, this idiom is to do something unplanned depending on the situation. Let's play it by ear. Kag. Test. B: "Around then. If you play it by ear, you don't plan ahead but you do whatever seems best at the time depending on the situation. Usually used when there's no set plans and everything furthermore will be done when it's done (or spontaneously). Meaning. Initially, this referred to the playing of music without reference to printed notation. Doing something at the drop of a hat Meaning: Doing something at the moment of being asked — We decided to play it by ear rather than taking a tour and it was really nice to just walk around and get acquainted with the town. The phrase comes from music – for instance, when playing the piano, if you want to play something without looking at the sheet music in front of you, you would “play it by ear”. play it by ear. — I'd like to have dinner in the city but I'm not sure how the traffic will be so let's play it by ear. It was not transferred to other kinds of improvisation until the mid-twentieth century. 2 (also play it by ˈear) ( informal ) decide how to act in a situation as it happens or develops, rather than by planning in advance: You can’t really prepare for the questions the interviewer will ask — you’ll just have to play it by ear, I’m afraid. In this phrase, the word role can be preceded by words that show how important this role was to whatever is being described. I could tell he had forgotten his notes and was playing the presentation by ear. This page is about the idiom play it by ear. Learn. Don’t judge a book by its cover Meaning: Not judging something by its initial appearance. Many people play musical instruments by ear without reading musical notes. • At 2, he played the piano by ear. Make Idioms fun by playing games with this set of 34 sets of cards. Definition: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan. Only $1/month. She can’t read music very well, so she plays all the tunes by ear. Whenever we. If we go into the meeting unprepared, we'll have to play everything by ear. Match. This is the British English definition of play it by ear.View American English definition of play it by ear.. Change your default dictionary to American English. For example. What's the meaning of the phrase 'Play by ear'? So, again, “play it by ear” means to make those decisions in the moment of performing the actions without planning out all the details previously. I think the idiom might possibly come from music. The idiom is several centuries old, descending from the use of ear as a metonym for one’s natural ability to recognize musical intervals. This means that someone will not make a decision about an event until they are in the moment. Rather than adopting a new academic strategy, the principal decided to play it by ear. — `Oh, I guess a bed-and-breakfast place. To play a role (in). I don't have a set schedule, so we'll have to play it by ear. 1 play (music) which you have heard or remembered but which you have not seen written down: She can’t read music very well, so she plays all the tunes by ear. This expression comes from music. What does the idiom “Play It by Ear” mean? Write. — Yes, I'd love to play tennis but I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like this weekend. Lv 7. For today’s blog entry, I’d like to talk about the idiom “to play it by ear”. He never prepared his presentations. Just because he can play by ear doesn't mean he's a great songwriter. A game of go fish such a talented piano player, do something as the develops. 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