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Phrasal Verbs

play down

This page is about the phrasal verb play down

Meaning

to try to make something seem less important or less damaging than it really is

Synonym

minimize, downplay

For example

  • play down sth The government's spokesman tried to play down the worsening economic data.

  • play sth down When he told his parents he was being sent to fight in Iraq, he tried to play the dangers down by saying he was going to a peaceful area.

Quick Quiz

If somebody tries to play down something that they've done, it's probably because they feel

a. proud of it

b. ashamed of it

c. good about it

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Contributor: Matt Errey