- to use the soft pedal.
- to soften the sound of by using the soft pedal.
- Informal. to tone or play down; make less strong, as an idea or fact: The dean soft-pedaled the reports of cheating.
Origin of soft-pedal
- Also called una corda pedal. a pedal, as on a piano, for reducing tonal volume.
- Informal. something that restrains or dampens: to put a soft pedal on one's enthusiasm.
Origin of soft pedal
Examples from the Web for soft-pedal
And when the AHA is reintroduced in parliament, as it inevitably will be, he can soft-pedal.The Uganda Ruling is Good For Everyone But Gays
August 1, 2014
It would do nothing about climate change and would embrace but soft-pedal and rebrand social conservatism.Inter-Galactic Reform Conservatism
May 31, 2013
Even when the crowd turned loud and nasty on certain foreign-policy points, Paul refused to soft-pedal his anti-interventionism.Rick Perry Unleashes His Inner Cowboy in Fox News Debate
January 17, 2012
There had been rumors of trouble back on Earth, persistent rumors he had taken care to soft-pedal, as mayor of the colony.Image of the Gods
Alan Edward Nourse
- to mute the tone of (a piano) by depressing the soft pedal
- informal to make (something, esp something unpleasant) less obvious by deliberately failing to emphasize or allude to it
Word Origin and History for soft-pedal
Idioms and Phrases with soft-pedal
Something that de-emphasizes, restrains, or plays down, as in The mayor put a soft pedal on this potentially explosive situation. This expression alludes to the una corda or soft pedal of the piano, which reduces the volume of the sound. It gave rise to the verb soft-pedal, meaning both “reduce the volume of” or “make less emphatic, downplay.” [Early 1900s]