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

Again and again, representatives of AT&T and Time Warner coolly downplayed the government’s concerns, testifying that withholding Turner programming would be self-defeating because its profitability depends on wide distribution. Felix Gillette,, "Get Ready for Big Media to Get Bigger After AT&T Victory," 13 June 2018 This moment in history may have been tailor-made for a US president ready to downplay America's traditional concerns about human rights, and who is willing to dine with Kim to remove a grave military threat. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What really came out of the Trump-Kim summit," 12 June 2018 Payton, Allen and defensive lineman Tyeler Davison all downplayed those concerns to some degree. Larry Holder,, "Safety, skepticism come with NFL's crown of the helmet rule," 6 June 2018 At the time, the Obama administration downplayed those concerns while speaking in general terms about the need for the U.S. to live up to its part of the deal. NBC News, "Obama-era license aimed to let Iran convert money in dollars," 6 June 2018 Oswald downplayed concerns about legal issues, saying municipalities can get creative and doubting that residents would resist cities potentially taking ownership of the pipe under their yard. David Eggert, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan close to finalizing stricter lead rules for water," 19 May 2018 Many Republican officials have downplayed such concerns, instead echoing the Trump administration’s assertion that there is no empirical evidence pointing to a steep participation decline. Michelle R. Smith,, "A test of the 2020 census in Rhode Island brings out critics," 7 Apr. 2018 McQuillen, the Republican minority leader who orchestrated Clay's rise to the presidency, downplayed concerns that the council had been operating in chaos. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis council chaos calms to 'orderly transfer of power' from Stephen Clay to Vop Osili," 19 Feb. 2018 No, the real problems arise when Ozark stages so many of its scenes in ways that downplay visual contrast, leaving almost everything shrouded in shadow, to the point of genuine incomprehension. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots," 1 Sep. 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

19 May 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

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