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playing with fire

Meaning: You're playing with fire if you're involved in an activity that could be dangerous, or could lead to problems in the future.

For example:

  • You're really playing with fire if you have loaded guns in the house, especially if there are kids around.

  • Suzie says that if someone with mental or emotional problems smokes marijuana, they're playing with fire. She says it can make these problems much worse.

Note: This is usually used in the continous tenses, such as "We are playing with fire if we..." or "They should have known they were playing with fire."

Quick Quiz:

People who have sex with many partners without using condoms are playing with fire because
  1. they could get sick of having sex
  2. they could get a disease such as AIDS
  3. they aren't married

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