play well


Senior Member
Does the expression 'play well' come from music playing and mean 'performed well and therefore was well accepted' here?
As independent,non profit,nonpartisan organizations,the think tanks had reputations as institutions that operate at arm's length from the government. They attempted,though not always successfully,to portray themselves as organizations committed to improving government decision making,not to advancing a particular ideological agenda or the interests of one political party. It is this perception of think tanks that Clark and Tellier hoped would play particularly well to the media,which had seized on the total breakdown of the Castonguay-Dobbie Committee to predict the imminent failure of future constitutional negotiations.
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  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Looking for examples of play well in the OED, it seems likely that this relates to:
    25 c. intr. Of a play, script, film, etc.: to come across in performance in a specified way. Hence in extended use: to be received in a specified way.
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