a tough pill to swallow

a tough pill to swallow

Something, especially a fact or piece of news, that is unpleasant or difficult but which is unavoidable or must be accepted. It was a tough pill to swallow learning that my father's fortune had been squandered. Her recent breakup with Janet was a tough pill to swallow.
See also: pill, swallow, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
Bill said if I hadn't quit, he would have fired Orla - that is a tough pill to swallow.
If you're not 16 years old, male and boiling over with rage, a Pantera album can be a tough pill to swallow.
Fellow Kiwi Williams (above) said: "Mark is a very close mate of mine, so personally it was a tough pill to swallow.
It was a tough pill to swallow last year but I've learnt a lot from that," he added.
For us as players, and also the fans, because we were in fourth place for so long and looking so strong when in that position, then it is a tough pill to swallow.
For a lot of teachers, giving that up is a tough pill to swallow.
It's a good thing that the National Academy of Sciences has experience with medicine because having to publish statistics that refute its members' own errant beliefs is obviously proving to be a tough pill to swallow.
It's a tough pill to swallow, especially if your heart remains with that organization.
Steve McNamara's side plays only for pride against Papua New Guinea at Eden Park on Saturday and O'Loughlin admits: "It would be a tough pill to swallow if we went home without a win.
Patterson said: "We're a bit battered and bruised and relegation is a tough pill to swallow.