soft pedal


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soft pedal

That which dampens, diminishes, or downplays the importance or impact of something. Hyphenated if used before a noun as a modifier. It's unsurprising to me that the board decided to apply a soft pedal to our plans for expansion, giving the recent uncertainty in the market. The president's plan has been criticized as a soft-pedal approach to dealing with the potential of nuclear weapons in an already turbulent region.
See also: pedal, soft

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]
See also: pedal, soft
References in periodicals archive ?
As opposed to shutting the piano lid or using the soft pedal, both of which diminish clarity in the piano, addressing voicing and pedaling issues will correct most balance concerns.
We had to soft pedal so that we do not jeopardise the prospects of these players, who would return to their clubs at the end of the African Nations Cup.
The bad news for them is that Giles is in no mood to soft pedal.
The soft pedal does not work and the keys keep falling off.
While the intensification of attacks in Turkey could be traced to its newly reworked foreign policy where it establishes relations with Israel and soft pedals its tensions with Russia, Turkey may well be looking for a hand-holding from without.
Some said the Society's magazine soft pedals reality, painting a too-sweet picture of MS.
com/reports/c51556) has announced the addition of "Microsoft Soft Pedals SOA Despite Strong Portfolio and Growing Customer Demand" to their offering.