And also, what is a word for when sb walks quietly as though being fearful. Kind of like "Surreptitious" but not because one wants to keep it secret. Example: these people won't harm you, nor do u have any reason to be afraid of them. Don't walk.... Like that!

Edit:i mean to put the two questions here because I think somebody who might have an answer may not stumble upon both. I'm new here, and I admit I haven't read the rules clearly. Sorry!

  • "to make something bland and boring" insipid – Mou某 Sep 7 '14 at 14:59
  • 3
    Please ask one question at a time. It is off-topic to ask totally different things in one question. – 0.. Sep 7 '14 at 15:05
  • Sneakily. – Dan Bron Sep 7 '14 at 15:48
  • Meekly, subserviently, shyly, timidly, etc. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 7 '14 at 16:16
  • Your edit has not improved your post one bit. Change the title of the post; OR change the question body. – Mari-Lou A Sep 8 '14 at 6:23

The phrasal verb dumb down is popular. From en.wiktionary, it means “To convey some subject matter in simple terms, avoiding technical or academic language, especially in a way that is considered condescending. [eg] The public won't understand this concept. We need to dumb down our explanation of it.

Also consider oversimplify. From en.wiktionary, it means “To explain or present something in a way that excludes important information for the sake of brevity, or of making the explanation or presentation easy to understand.”

Washed out, in its sense “Of clothes. When they lose some of their original colour from being washed so often” may also apply.

From pablum, one might at a stretch derive the verb pablumize. From en.wiktionary, pablum means “Anything overly bland or simplistic, especially speech or writing”.

Also relevant:
bowdlerize, “To remove or alter those parts of a text considered offensive, vulgar, or otherwise unseemly. [eg] The bowdlerized version of the novel, while free of vulgarity, was also free of flavor.” ‒ wik.
expurgate, “To edit out rude, incorrect, offensive, useless, or otherwise undesirable information from a book, CD or other publication; to cleanse; to purge. [eg] The publisher decided to expurgate the love scene from the book, to make it more child-friendly.” ‒ wik.

  • I see now that the body of Vo Duy An's post asks a different question than does the title (‘a word for “to make something bland and boring”’), which is what I addressed, under the misapprehension that the body was a bad attempt to explain the title. For the body, timidly etc have already been suggested in other comments – James Waldby - jwpat7 Sep 7 '14 at 16:31
  • I've just created an account here, and I am not quite sure about the rules yet. I apologize if I have confused/annoyed you. – Vo Duy An Sep 8 '14 at 5:27
  • Confused, but not annoyed. Anyhow, as ermanen says, put one question in each post. Please explicitly include the question in the body of the post as well as in the title. Also, you can accept my answer if you think it is the best answer, and if you have enough rep can upvote it if it's useful to you. A question closed because of being unclear can be edited for clarity, after which it might be reopened. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Sep 8 '14 at 11:56

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