Definition of downplay in English:



[with object]
  • Make (something) appear less important than it really is.

    ‘this report downplays the seriousness of global warming’
    • ‘Even in the scene where he appears majestic, Ellison uses the comic to downplay his regality.’
    • ‘He also downplays the quality of early muskets, but that too ignores the same reality.’
    • ‘The Report repeatedly downplays the effects of violence on men.’
    • ‘The committee report downplays the importance of this episode.’
    • ‘I think it's very important, and I think it was downplayed at the beginning by the administration.’
    • ‘But his coverage of the Wagner report greatly downplays the report's criticisms.’
    • ‘Characteristically aloof, she downplays the importance of literary awards, yet recognises the significance they hold for some individuals.’
    • ‘He criticised him for downplaying the importance of public opinion about wanting to see universal suffrage in 2007.’
    • ‘In doing so he has challenged the role of landscape photography while furthering it, but at the price of downplaying the individual picture.’
    • ‘If a compliment did get thrown your way, you either accepted it silently or downplayed it until it sounded more like an insult.’
    • ‘The sound engineers go way overboard layering the electronica over the instruments, downplaying the women's talents.’
    • ‘I mean, we're not downplaying the seriousness of what's gone on here.’
    • ‘I think Gene is downplaying the tension between a culture dedicated to philosophy and a culture that has committed itself to getting a stable job.’
    • ‘He downplays this problem, but I think a close look at the evidence reveals that he is stretching.’
    • ‘He captures some important changes, but downplays the constraints on choice.’
    • ‘Jim downplays the loss; thankfully, he didn't sustain any bad physical injuries.’
    • ‘I do not think we have ever, at any stage, downplayed the risk to children, but it is important that we do not overplay the risk to children.’
    • ‘The Times has been criticized for downplaying the strike by its own ombudsmen, as well as by actors and activists.’
    • ‘It was extremely important, the lawyer had said, for her to downplay her looks as much as possible.’
    • ‘At others they have sought to discredit the report by suggesting it downplayed the actual extent of such connections.’
    disparage, denigrate, belittle, diminish, deprecate, detract from, deflate, decry, discredit, cast aspersions on, downgrade, slight, run down, criticize, defame, vilify, abuse, insult, attack, speak ill of, speak evil of, pour scorn on
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