Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To act (a role) subtly or with restraint.
  • intransitive verb To present or deal with subtly or with restraint; play down.
  • intransitive verb To act a role subtly or with restraint.
  • intransitive verb Games To play a low card while holding a higher card in the same suit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of underplaying, especially in whist.
  • To play in an inferior manner.
  • In whist, to play a low card while retaining a high one of the same suit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To play in a subordinate, or in an inferior manner; to underact a part.
  • intransitive verb (Card Playing) To play a low card when holding a high one, in the hope of a future advantage.
  • noun (Card Playing) The act of underplaying.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of underplaying.
  • verb To play in a subordinate, or in an inferior manner; to underact a part.
  • verb To play a low card when holding a high one, in the hope of a future advantage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb act (a role) with great restraint
  • verb play a card lower than (a held high card)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

under- +‎ play

Examples

  • Hunt helps us to recognize a paradox that recent historians of book-collecting underplay, which is that the book-collectors 'obsessive acquisitiveness not only vexed their contemporaries but also beguiled them, as the undertone of affection in period commentaries hints.

    "Wedded to Books': Bibliomania and the Romantic Essayists

  • And Dana Andrews, an underestimated actor who wasn’t fully appreciated because his style was to underplay, which is so difficult.

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • And Dana Andrews, an underestimated actor who wasn’t fully appreciated because his style was to underplay, which is so difficult.

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • And Dana Andrews, an underestimated actor who wasn’t fully appreciated because his style was to underplay, which is so difficult.

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • And Dana Andrews, an underestimated actor who wasn’t fully appreciated because his style was to underplay, which is so difficult.

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • There is also something antithetical to making Crispin Glover "underplay" his role.

    DVD Verdict

  • However, you underplay the imaginative use of a significant, flexible asset at a time when the Royal Navy's reduced number of platforms is thinly spread in support of the UK's interests across the world.

    Letters: Fit for purpose

  • The question for all of us, especially parents of teenagers, to ask is this: Is the media's failure to acknowledge this tragic trinity due to its tendency to overlook or underplay the dangers of marijuana use?

    Joseph A. Califano Jr.: Marijuana's Role In The Arizona Shooting

  • The question for all of us, especially parents of teenagers, to ask is this: Is the media's failure to acknowledge this tragic trinity due to its tendency to overlook or underplay the dangers of marijuana use?

    Joseph A. Califano Jr.: Marijuana's Role In The Arizona Shooting

  • That is not to underplay the effort of other Mexicans that get involved in many ways, shapes or form of bettering the condition of others.

    Chiapa de Corzo

Comments

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  • "Plunder" (q.v.), in pig Latin.

    May 17, 2008