Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

soft-pedal (sth)

1) downplay or de-emphasize the importance of something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • soft-pedal the issue
  • Analysis
    To 'soft pedal' something means to make something seem less bad or urgent than it really is. When you 'soft pedal' something it means to downplay the negative attributes of something or someone in order not to draw attention to it. This is an idiom used in both social and professional contexts.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. The company soft-pedaled the recent controversy surrounding them by employing a public relations team.
    2. To avoid any panic, we would be better off soft-pedaling this issue for the time being. Just until we figure out a way to resolve it.
    3. Despite pressure from outside sources, the journalist refused to soft-pedal her article about the prominent politician.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. When we went to look at the house, the agent really soft peddled the crime in the area.
    2. There is no soft peddling it, we are really broke. I don't know how I will manage to pay the bills this month.
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