play it by ear

Meaning(s)

1. figurative: wait to take action depending on what happens next

Popularity

High

Professional

High

Social

Check Icon How to Memorize

don't decide now, just play it by ear and see what happens

Check Icon Analysis

When you play something by ear it means to perform music without having to read from a sheet or use a score. Figuratively to 'play something by ear' is an informal expression meaning to do something in an improvised way without a plan. Similar in meaning to, 'ad lib', 'make it up as we go along' or 'wing it'.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The couple couldn't decide where to go on their date so they just played it by ear.
  2. I don't like to plan my holidays too much. I usually arrive and play it by ear depending on what I feel like doing.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. As the board was split in their vote, they agreed to play it by ear and wait for the year-end results.
  2. If you are playing it by ear when it comes to social media you are missing an opportunity to grow your leads.

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