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 Modi has publicly denied that there are any detention centres in the country and has downplayed the protests, saying they are orchestrated by his opponents. Washington Post, "India says no plans yet to prepare a citizenship registry," 4 Feb. 2020 State party officials had downplayed the potential for problems by noting that counting paper backups would eventually provide an accurate tally, which is what the party was working to do Tuesday. Anchorage Daily News, "Avalanche of issues takes out Iowa plan for high-tech caucus," 4 Feb. 2020 In previous statements, Huang has downplayed the potential health risk of the virus and stressed the real danger of the flu, which has already killed more than two dozen people locally. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Are coronavirus patients headed to DFW Airport? Here’s what airlines and health officials are doing," 3 Feb. 2020 Morrison has also repeatedly downplayed the role climate change plays in the bushfires and is a public defender of the coal industry. Time, "'Living Across Two Continents is Environmentally Unethical.' Australian Actress Yael Stone Is Giving Up Her Green Card to Reduce Her Environmental Impact," 8 Jan. 2020 Jackson has often downplayed the significance of his involvement in quarterback matchups but acknowledged a win on Sunday would feel a little different. Daniel Oyefusi,, "In greatest QB discussion, Ravens’ Lamar Jackson says Patriots’ Tom Brady is ‘definitely the one at the top’," 30 Oct. 2019 But what the Saudis are downplaying is where the attack originated. Nic Robertson, CNN, "Saudi Arabia has a great deal more to lose from a war than Iran does," 20 Sep. 2019 Despite breaking new ground with the Raiders, Trask has always downplayed her role as a pioneer in the industry. The Si Staff,, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Naysayers have downplayed such estimates and quibbled with the administration’s accounting, accusing it, for example, of taking credit for efforts that actually began under Obama. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "The Trump Economy," 25 July 2019

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

1948, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for downplay

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The first known use of downplay was in 1948

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Statistics for downplay

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Downplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for downplay


How to pronounce downplay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of downplay

: to make (something) seem smaller or less important

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downplay

Spanish Central: Translation of downplay

Nglish: Translation of downplay for Spanish Speakers

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