soft pedal

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soft ped·al • n. a pedal on a piano that can be pressed to make the tone softer. See also una corda. • v. (soft-ped·al) [tr.] Mus. play with the soft pedal down. ∎  refrain from emphasizing the more unpleasant aspects of; play down: the administration's decision to soft-pedal the missile program.

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soft pedal. Pf. pedal, operated by left foot, which reduces vol. by causing fewer than normal number of str. to be struck or by bringing the hammers nearer the str. before they start to move.

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