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Difference between Cool it and Play it cool

cool it—(coll., imper.) stop being angry; calm down:

  • “Cool it, will you Arthur!” demanded Ford. Arthur would not be deterred.

play it cooldeliberately behave in a relaxed and unemotional way:

  • John dived for cover, but the cameraman played it cool, pausing to switch on the camera…

Note: The expression is not equivalent in meaning to the phrase keep one’s coolretain one’s composure and poise:

  • Mal kept his cool when Badger admitted there was a problem with the cargo.