I can downplay something.

Can I thus "upplay" a thing or not? What do you think?

  • 1
    You can't "upplay", but you can "upsell" something. Upsell and downplay seem to get used a lot like opposites.
    – xLeitix
    Sep 18, 2014 at 6:12
  • I read it as "Uplay" and I thought "No, man, you really shouldn't". Damn my eyes
    – Raestloz
    Sep 18, 2014 at 12:47
  • @Raestloz what does it mean, uplay?
    – Anixx
    Jan 30, 2015 at 9:30

3 Answers 3


No, unfortunately 'upplay' is not a word. If you want to say the opposite of 'downplay' you can always use words like: magnify, overstate, exaggerate, amplify.

However you can say "play up" to mean: to emphasize something.

  • 1
    Just like you lower the ante, and not down the ante, vs up the ante Sep 18, 2014 at 4:34
  • 3
    Can't you raise the ante?
    – ADTC
    Sep 18, 2014 at 5:48
  • 8
    I'd say "play up" is the direct antonym of "downplay." For some reason, the word order just gets reversed.
    – trlkly
    Sep 18, 2014 at 15:10
  • 2
    @Bobson You can "play down" something in Modern English. People play down the importance of issues all the time. E.g., Google Scholar results. You can try news results, too, but that gets into "headline-ese", which isn't always natural modern English. Sep 18, 2014 at 15:59
  • 1
    Careful with those synonyms - some of those play up ( :) ) the fact that the attention given is undue (overstate, exaggerate), while the others don't. Sep 18, 2014 at 16:18

You wouldn't "up-play", but you could overplay something.

  • Overplay is in no way the opposite of down play, though. If you said over play when you meant emphasize, you might embarrass yourself: one is a criticism, the other is not. Sep 19, 2014 at 2:34
  • @GreenAsJade Obviously, but so is "downplay" in a way - it points out that something was made less important than it really is. A better opposite for "emphasise" would be "disregard", I think - those two don't imply the wrong judgement. Sep 19, 2014 at 10:42

talk up provides an antonym to downplay - it matches the informal/colloquial usage.

He talked up his work experience to secure the position.

  • 1
    This is a good answer! But it would be nice to provide some dictionary citations so the asker can read more, or to give some usage examples. What makes you suggest this phrase in particular?
    – Tiercelet
    Sep 19, 2014 at 4:10
  • Thanks, done! I'm an English speaker of the en_NZ variant - this may be relevant since it feels fairly colloquial. Sep 20, 2014 at 7:49

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