down·​play | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌplā How to pronounce downplay (audio) \
downplayed; downplaying; downplays

Definition of downplay

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Examples of downplay in a Sentence

Athletes often downplay their injuries. he self-deprecatingly downplays his own contributions to the festival's success

Recent Examples on the Web

White women educators censored textbooks and downplayed the role of slavery in the Civil War as a way to infuse the public education curriculum with white supremacist politics. Treva B. Lindsey, Vox, "The betrayal of white women voters: in pivotal state races, they still backed the GOP," 9 Nov. 2018 Google is re-architecting the entire Google Play app-serving stack in a way that downplays Android's ubiquitous and portable .APK app file. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Android 9 Pie, thoroughly reviewed," 13 Sep. 2018 The letter then indicates that Ollie downplayed Hamilton’s role with the program and told investigators that no players trained with Hamilton and that Hamilton spent little time on campus. Staff Report,, "Here Are All The Answers To Your Kevin Ollie-UConn Questions," 21 June 2018 Wylie is not the only member of Cambridge Analytica to downplay the role of Trump in his own campaign. Jason Le Miere, Newsweek, "Was Trump a ‘Puppet’? Cambridge Analytica Previously Tested Americans’ Views on Putin, Wall, Swamp: Report," 21 Mar. 2018 The Eagles can pull the reins back – Pederson has downplayed his quarterback’s progress for months – but many teammates have mentioned Wentz’s competitiveness when asked about his increasing participation in workouts. Jeff Mclane,, "Carson Wentz's velocity is the best indicator of the Eagles QB's remarkable progress," 6 June 2018 Democratic leadership has downplayed the idea that a packed Senate calendar could leave lawmakers scrambling. Jonathan Allen /, NBC News, "GOP's midterm one-two punch: Keep Trump on the trail, Senate Dems in D.C.," 29 May 2018 But Murphy has downplayed the idea at a time when two major national figures from Connecticut — former Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman — never went far in their presidential attempts. Christopher Keating,, "Democrats Nominate Chris Murphy For Second Term As State Convention Kicks Off," 19 May 2018 The officer has downplayed his role, the union president said, brushing aside praise by asking about the victims. Natalie Obiko Pearson,, "One Minute, No Gunshots: Toronto Officer Takes Down Van Suspect," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downplay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downplay

1954, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for downplay

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for downplay

The first known use of downplay was in 1954

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English Language Learners Definition of downplay

: to make (something) seem smaller or less important

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More from Merriam-Webster on downplay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downplay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downplay

Spanish Central: Translation of downplay

Nglish: Translation of downplay for Spanish Speakers

Comments on downplay

What made you want to look up downplay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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