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soft-pedal

soft-ped·al

soft-pedal

 
pronunciation:
sawft pe dl
parts of speech:
intransitive verb, transitive verb
part of speech: intransitive verb
inflections: soft-pedaled, soft-pedaling, soft-pedals
definition: to use the pedal on a piano that mutes the tone.
 
part of speech: transitive verb
definition 1: (informal) to purposely underplay the significance of; fail to emphasize.
They soft-pedaled their criticism.
antonyms:
emphasize, exaggerate
definition 2: to tone down or soften with the soft pedal on a piano.