dumb down

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dumb (something) down

To make something less complicated to accommodate a less intelligent, educated, or sophisticated audience. The professor decided to dumb down the course material a bit after most of his class failed the first exam. I think we ought to dumb the play down a bit; after all, most of the people coming to see it won't have a PhD in drama.
See also: down, dumb

dumb down

v. Slang
To simplify something excessively in order to make it suitable for a less educated or less sophisticated audience: The researchers dumbed down the report before releasing it to the public.
See also: down, dumb

dumb down, to

To simplify or otherwise revise in order to appeal to someone of less education, taste, or intelligence. This slangy expression dates from the first half of the 1900s. Publishers Weekly used it in a review of The Business of Books by André Schiffrin: “. . . the attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste, which has, he says, led network television and movies in such depressing directions, has dumbed down publishing to an alarming degree” (Aug. 21, 2000).
See also: dumb
References in periodicals archive ?
But Hollywood's "entertainment" fare also serves to distract and dumb down the public, both intellectually and morally (page 38).
It sounds suspiciously like the Natural History Unit has been told to dumb down.
I've been told I have not to dumb down. I've been in too many silly pictures."
Television, it goes without saying, has been a leader of the race to dumb down, but even this frequently reckless medium managed to plunge to new levels in recent days.
Current government standards dumb down encryption so much that a pedestrian computer hacker could crack the toughest codes allowed in a few hours.
'I thought you'd either have to dumb down because they're children, in which case it wouldn't be Mastermind.
But is that a good enough reason to dumb down further by abandoning our second city?