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underplay

[uhn-der-pley, uhn-der-pley] /ˌʌn dərˈpleɪ, ˈʌn dərˌpleɪ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to act (a part) sketchily.
2.
to act subtly and restrainedly.
3.
to understate or de-emphasize; downplay:
The ambassador underplayed his role in the peace negotiations.
verb (used without object)
4.
to leave out of one's acting all subtlety and enriching detail.
5.
to achieve an effect in acting with a minimum of emphasis.
Origin
1725-1735
1725-35; under- + play
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for underplay
  • Perhaps he does underplay how far simplification and prejudice are willingly embraced rather than imposed.
  • But she tends to underplay the romance in the story.
  • Quite the contrary, the unusualness of my access made me want to underplay it.
  • It might have been better to embrace the chaos rather than underplay it.
  • He knows he has tread left on his tire and isn't going to underplay his hand because of it.
  • We do not mean to underplay the importance of addressing the pressing needs of subgroups of the homeless.
  • Do not underplay the seriousness of the situation nor create undue alarm.
British Dictionary definitions for underplay

underplay

/ˌʌndəˈpleɪ/
verb
1.
to play (a role) with restraint or subtlety
2.
to achieve (an effect) by deliberate lack of emphasis
3.
(intransitive) (cards) to lead or follow suit with a lower card when holding a higher one
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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