What's the meaning of the phrase "plays in minds of someone". For example, in the sentence below.
The significance of the IELTS is a fact that plays in the minds of hopeful migrants like Mr. Want2Immi.
(Thanks to @unreason for ferreting out actual usage statistics on what turns out to be a more variable but less common phrase than I had supposed).
Something plays on your mind if you're continuously worrying about it.
I've always known the expression as play on one's mind, but in is just as common (bad choice of word, since neither occur that much).
An alternative equivalent is to weigh heavily (up)on one's mind, as discussed (initially in French, but it's not that long) here
I personally am only familiar with the expression in reference to a single mind - usually your own, when bewailing the fact that you can't stop being obsessed by some particularly unwelcome thought. But it does get used in respect of an oppressive concept troubling many people at once.
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