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

Heading into the meeting, which Mexico requested, White House officials had downplayed expectations, saying the U.S. delegation was willing to listen to Mexico’s ideas for meeting Trump’s demands, but did not expect a deal to emerge Wednesday. Jill Colvin, Time, "Trump Sees Progress in Mexico Talks But 'Not Nearly Enough' to Halt Tariffs," 7 June 2019 Administration officials said that even Stephen Miller, the president’s hawkish immigration aide, was concerned Thursday about the plan getting out and had tried to downplay it in the building. Rachael Bade, The Seattle Times, "Trump: Administration giving ‘strong considerations’ to releasing detainees in ‘sanctuary cities’," 12 Apr. 2019 These dazzling performances have not gone unnoticed, even if Mr. Foles prefers to downplay them. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Close the Hall of Fame, Cancel the MVP Award: There’s a Better Way," 27 Dec. 2018 After the agreement became known, the company attempted to downplay the deal by maintaining its staff subsequently believed that Cohen was unlikely to deliver on providing sufficient access after a single meeting in March 2017. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Novartis, Michael Cohen contacts were more extensive than previously disclosed," 13 July 2018 Trump in recent days has downplayed any potential for conflict. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "AP sources: Former CIA chief Brennan to brief Dems on Iran," 20 May 2019 But Ho is careful to note that the focus on wellness shouldn’t be downplayed as a trend or marketing gimmick. Christina Pérez, Vogue, "The New Cannabis Companies Want to Give You a “Wellness Experience”," 20 Apr. 2019 Interestingly, Facebook downplayed and confirmed the problem in the same post, filed in late March, after researcher Brian Krebs issued his own report. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Update: Facebook passwords for hundreds of millions of users were exposed to Facebook employees," 18 Apr. 2019 That’s not to downplay the work of criminal justice reformers who are trying to reduce the size and burden of what amounts to a fairly large prison system at the federal level. German Lopez, Vox, "The Senate just passed criminal justice reform," 19 Dec. 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

1948, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for downplay

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for downplay

The first known use of downplay was in 1948

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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

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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