Definitions for soft pedal

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word soft pedal

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

soft′ ped′al(n.)

  1. a pedal, as on a piano, for reducing tonal volume.

    Category: Music and Dance

  2. something that restrains or dampens.

    Category: Informal

Origin of soft pedal:


soft′-ped′al(v.)-aled, -al•ing; -alled, -al•ling.

  1. (v.i.)to use the soft pedal of a piano.

    Category: Music and Dance

  2. (v.t.)to attempt to make less obvious, important, or objectionable; downplay.

    Category: Informal

Origin of soft-pedal:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. soft pedal(verb)

    a pedal on a piano that moves the action closer to the strings and so soften the sound

  2. soft-pedal(verb)

    play down or obscure

    "His advisers soft-pedaled the president's blunder"


  1. soft pedal(Noun)

    The leftmost foot-pedal on most pianos which, when pushed, softens the note played.


  1. Soft pedal

    The soft pedal is one of the standard pedals on a piano, generally placed leftmost among the pedals. On a grand piano this pedal shifts the whole action including the keyboard slightly to the right, so that hammers which normally strike all three of the strings for a note strike only two of them. This softens the note and also modifies its tone quality. Tone quality is also affected by forcing the remaining two strings being struck to make contact with a part of hammer felt which is not often hit; this results in a duller sound, as opposed to the bright sound which is usually produced.


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