soft-pedal

verb
soft-ped·al | \ˈsȯf(t)-ˈpe-dᵊl \
soft-pedaled; soft-pedaling; soft-pedals

Definition of soft-pedal 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : play down, de-emphasize soft-pedal the issue

2 : to use the soft pedal in playing

soft pedal

noun

Definition of soft pedal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a foot pedal on a piano that reduces the volume of sound

2 : something that muffles, deadens, or reduces effect

Examples of soft-pedal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Later that year, Buzzfeed News revealed that Yiannapoulos had been secretly working with a range of white supremacists, including staffers at Daily Stormer and American Renaissance, to soft pedal their ideas into the mainstream. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Free Speech Warriors Mainstreamed White Supremacists," 8 May 2018 View 75 Photos There’s nothing wrong with the Pathfinder’s braking performance, but there’s nothing confidence inspiring about its soft pedal feel, either. Michael Simari, Car and Driver, "2018 Nissan Pathfinder," 22 Mar. 2018 This isn’t a soft pedaled version of wartime service but a cold, devastating self-examination of the decidedly personal costs of war. Kevin J. Hamilton, The Seattle Times, "‘Eat the Apple’: a Marine’s jarring eyes-on-the-ground view of war," 20 Feb. 2018 This is a two-part skill; his superb legato (or connected articulation) on the keyboard was heightened by skillful deployment of both the sustaining and the soft pedal. Marcus Overton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Igor Levit dynamic in La Jolla Music Society recital," 8 Jan. 2018 Braking engages with a soft pedal on initial engagement and follows through with a secure and absolutely flat stop. Mark Maynard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "2018 Hyundai Elantra GT: Subtle slyness," 6 Oct. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of soft-pedal

Verb

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soft-pedal

Share soft-pedal

Statistics for soft-pedal

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soft-pedal

The first known use of soft-pedal was in 1817

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for soft-pedal

soft-pedal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of soft-pedal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on soft-pedal

See words that rhyme with soft-pedal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soft-pedal

Comments on soft-pedal

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

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!