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soft-pedal something

to play something down; to de-emphasize something. (Alludes to the soft pedal on the piano, which reduces the volume.) Try to soft-pedal the problems we have with the cooling system. I won't soft-pedal anything. Everyone must know the truth.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE threat of relegation may have dissipated but Shepshed Dynamo's new manager, John Hanna, has pledged: There will be no soft-pedalling on the run-in.
The Traditional Native American Tobacco Seed Bank and Education Program doesn't believe in soft-pedalling its convictions.
With the state government and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee soft-pedalling on the violence, Karat's reaction appeared justified.
Back in the real world, I notice Hattie is easing herself into power as party chairman by soft-pedalling hostility to the Iraq war and the pounds 20billion Trident replacement.
The one Wolves man who definitely will not be soft-pedalling this weekend is Ivar Ingimarsson, who, like JJ Melligan at Kidderminster, will be completing his loan spell with Brighton before returning to bolster Jones' playoff squad on Monday.
This brings us to the film's real flaw - by soft-pedalling scenes of racism, it makes the issue look less significant than it was and still is.
Ironically, it was the soft-pedalling of SFA Disciplinary Committee chairman Chris Robinson when hearing the cases of Old Firm bosses Dick Advocaat and Kenny Dalglish that led to the outcry by refs.