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 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, "How IU football helped Blake Powers, Austin Thomas for Army careers," 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, "Sweden sees jump in coronavirus deaths with less restrictive guidelines under scrutiny," 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, "The Environmental Burden of Generation Z," 3 Feb. 2020 And just why would mainstream media have incentive to underplay the Sanders campaign’s energy? Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The story behind new Bernie Sanders documentary," 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, "Tensions rise over economic freedom vs. global public safety," 19 Apr. 2020 During the first half of January, when Chinese officials were underplaying the severity of the outbreak, no travelers from China were screened for potential exposure to the virus. Steve Eder, New York Times, "430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced," 4 Apr. 2020 Experts say both greatly under-count the true number of victims because of lack of testing, mild cases that were missed and governments that are underplaying the crisis. Author: Jennifer Peltz, Amy Forliti, David Rising, Anchorage Daily News, "New York gets Chinese ventilators as Oregon pledges 140 more," 5 Apr. 2020 Experts say both greatly under-count the true number of victims because of lack of testing, mild cases that were missed, and governments that are underplaying the crisis. Jennifer Peltz, BostonGlobe.com, "New York gets ventilators in China; Trump wants more thanks," 4 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

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underplay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underplay. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for underplay

underplay

verb
How to pronounce underplay (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underplay

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