underplay

verb
un·​der·​play | \ ˌən-dər-ˈplā How to pronounce underplay (audio) \
underplayed; underplaying; underplays

Definition of underplay

intransitive verb

: to play a role with subdued force

transitive verb

1 : to act or present (a role, a scene, etc.) with restraint : play down
2 : to play a card lower than (a held high card)

Examples of underplay in a Sentence

Don't underplay the importance of exercise. I thought she underplayed her character.
Recent Examples on the Web The Quinnipiac poll might actually underplay the size of belief in aliens. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 5 June 2021 Irene’s instinct is to underplay her own existence in deference to her responsibilities: family and the demands of being a bourgeois member of society. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2021 Backlogs underplay how many planes China will end up needing. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 31 Dec. 2020 Not to underplay the tortuous process soldiers endure to make it through the Army’s premier course on small-unit tactics, which tests leadership and grit. Jon Blau, Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2020 The actual extent of the pandemic is likely to be significantly higher due to mild infections that are missed, limited testing, problems counting the dead and some nations’ desires to underplay the extent of their outbreaks. Fox News, 20 Apr. 2020 The Bray family, at least, is erring on the side of not underplaying the situation — or the need for everyone to contribute to solutions. Jason Plautz, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2020 And just why would mainstream media have incentive to underplay the Sanders campaign’s energy? Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 16 May 2020 The actual extent of the pandemic is likely to be significantly higher due to mild infections that are missed, limited testing, problems counting the dead and some nations' desires to underplay the extent of their outbreaks. The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underplay.' 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 underplay

1833, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Time Traveler for underplay

Time Traveler

The first known use of underplay was in 1833

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Statistics for underplay

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underplay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underplay. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for underplay

underplay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of underplay

: to make (something) seem less important than it actually is : to give too little attention to (something)
disapproving : to show too little emotion when acting in a play, movie, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on underplay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for underplay

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