play down


1. describe something as less significant than it is






Check Icon How to Memorize

play down the victory/achievement/danger

Check Icon Analysis

Sometimes people intentionally present something as less important or significant than it is. This might be because they are humble and don't look for praise, but it could also be because they want to avoid the negative effect of drawing attention to the truth. This can be used in any context, social or professional. To 'play down' something is to make it sound less serious or important than it really is, usually so as not to worry other people. "The CEO tried to play down the impact of the decision but we all knew lay-offs were coming."

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The athlete was quite humble, so he played down his victory despite the fuss everyone made about it.
  2. You know, you really shouldn't play down what you've achieved here. A PhD isn't easy to get!
  3. The police played down the danger of a terrorist attack, so as not to panic the people.
  4. When people died during the storm, the media were accused of playing down the threat to life.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. A job interview isn't the place to play down your achievements. You need to sell yourself.
  2. Without trying to play down the seriousness of the issue, you handled the situation well.

Related Links