soft-pedal

verb soft-ped·al \ ˈsȯf(t)-ˈpe-dᵊl \

Definition of soft-pedal

soft-pedaled; soft-pedaling; soft-pedals
1 : play down, de-emphasize
  • soft-pedal the issue
2 : to use the soft pedal in playing

First Known Use of soft-pedal

1912

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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soft pedal

noun

Definition of soft pedal

1 : a foot pedal on a piano that reduces the volume of sound
2 : something that muffles, deadens, or reduces effect

Recent Examples of soft pedal from the Web

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

First Known Use of soft pedal

1817

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

SOFT-PEDAL Defined for English Language Learners

soft-pedal

Definition of soft-pedal for English Language Learners

  • : to treat or describe (something) as less important than it really is


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