undermine & play down

learner1978

New Member
Mandarin, Taiwanese
Hi,

I'm grouping words sharing a smiliar meaning. I've questions about "undermine" and "play down". Hope someone could help me out here.

For example,
E.g.1 The celebrity is trying to "play down" his scandal by making up different excuses.
E.g.2 The celebrity is trying to "undermine" his scandal by making up different excuses.

Q1. play down = undermine ?
Q2. Two examples above express the same idea ? If not, what's the nuance?

Many thanks !! :)
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    play down = to minimise the importance of, to make light of
    undermine = to weaken, destroy
    These two words do not share a common meaning, as far as I know.

    Examples:
    to undermine the President's reputation (=destroy, damage, harm)
    to undermine the investments in the health service (=weaken, threaten)

    to play down his role in the crime (=minimise the importance of)
    to play down her musical talent (=belittle, make light of)

    PS Welcome to the forum!
     
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