adjective Also, low-keyed.
of reduced intensity; restrained; understated.
(of a photograph) having chiefly dark tones, usually with little tonal contrast (distinguished from high-key ).
verb (used with object), low-keyed, low-keying.
to make or attempt to make low-key: to low-key the arms buildup.


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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
low-key or low-keyed
1.  having a low intensity or tone
2.  restrained, subdued, or understated
3.  Compare high-key (of a photograph, painting, etc) having a predominance of dark grey tones or dark colours with few highlights
low-keyed or low-keyed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
My bet is they will keep this as low-key as possible.
They turned him down, and things have continued to grow, even though until
  recently it's been a low-key operation.
Their advocacy of a low-key president seems close to a wish for the job to be
  done badly.
Print censorship is a bit more common, but still fairly low-key.
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