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 Kennedy was angry at the newspaper’s editorials about impropriety in his administration, complaining that the newspaper underplayed similar behavior in the Eisenhower administration. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "Trump instructs federal agencies to cancel Washington Post and New York Times subscriptions," 24 Oct. 2019 Its connection to the overall Batman mythology is deliberately underplayed—the movie is more interested in making us squirm at Arthur’s pathetic attempts at standup comedy. Tom Gliatto, PEOPLE.com, "Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix Isn't Clowning Around as the Terrifying Batman Villain," 2 Oct. 2019 His erstwhile sweetheart Margo is deftly underplayed by Kelly Rosales, who contributes engaging vocals. Contrasting the gloomy atmosphere are some wild and woolly production numbers staged by Lorton and co-choreographer Heather Holt-Smith. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: ‘Bright Star’ flickers at the GEM," 1 Oct. 2019 Skip to main content Oklahoma lawyers argued Johnson & Johnson aggressively marketed opioids that overstated their effectiveness and underplayed the addiction risk. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "What risks lie ahead for Johnson & Johnson after $572M opioid ruling?," 26 Aug. 2019 Crudup underplays well in what’s mostly a thankless role, while Quinn — who also sings the song heard over the end credits — shines in conveying Grace’s own stricken journey. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Williams and Moore face off in melodramatic ‘After the Wedding’," 22 Aug. 2019 In any case, the authors are to be congratulated for a splendid job of research about a critical event in the Cold War that other historians have overlooked or underplayed. Lee Edwards, WSJ, "‘1983’ and ‘The Brink’ Review: The Most Dangerous War Game," 26 July 2018 Crudup underplays well in what’s mostly a thankless role, while Quinn — who also sings the song heard over the end credits — shines in conveying Grace’s own stricken journey. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Williams and Moore face off in melodramatic ‘After the Wedding’," 22 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the most important (and yet underplayed) issue for the Sharks is goaltending. Garrett Wroblewski/guest Columnist, The Mercury News, "With Pavelski gone, who will lead Sharks into new season and era?," 20 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for underplay

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for underplay

The first known use of underplay was in 1833

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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.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underplay

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