Idiom:  play it by ear


Idiom:  play it by ear

  • 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 know how to play many Elton John songs on the piano 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

— Would you rather we make a reservation for dinner or should we play it by ear?

— 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.

— Let's make a plan for tomorrow. Whenever we play it by ear we just stay home and don't do anything at all.

— I hope the director will be able to do the opening remarks but if not, we'll have to play it by ear.

— Let's play it by ear and not reserve a ride back to the hotel. Some of us may want to go out for drinks after the movie.

— Yes, I'd love to play tennis but I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like this weekend. Let's play it by ear

— My parents are complete opposites: my mother likes everything planned in detail and my father always wants to play things by ear.


  • make it up as you go along
  • wing it
  • at the spur of the moment

Get our free idioms in pictures ebook

You might like these idioms

More idioms will be added in the future so check back frequently or sign-up for my free newsletter to learn about new updates to my website.

  1. Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. Idioms List
  4.  ›
  5. Idiom: play it by ear