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Meaning of soft pedal

soft' ped'al

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. Also calleda pedal, as on a piano, for reducing tonal volume.
  2. something that restrains or dampens: to put a soft pedal on one's enthusiasm.

soft-ped•al

Pronunciation: (sôft"ped'l, soft"-), [key]
— v., -aled, -al•ing -alled, -al•ling.
—v.i.
  1. to use the soft pedal.
—v.t.
  1. to soften the sound of by using the soft pedal.
  2. to tone or play down; make less strong, as an idea or fact: The dean soft-pedaled the reports of cheating.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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