play down

Idioms & Phrases

play down

  1. Make little of, minimize the importance of, as in A skillful salesman plays down the drawbacks of the product and emphasizes its good features. [First half of 1900s]

  2. play down to. Lower one's standards to meet the demands of someone, as in Some stand-up comics deliberately play down to the vulgar taste of their audiences. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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