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let (one) down gently

To deliver bad news to someone in the kindest or least upsetting way possible. When you tell Ed that somebody already asked you to the dance, please let him down gently. I tried to let Susan down gently, but she burst into tears nonetheless.
See also: down, gently, let

let someone down gently

seek to give someone bad news in a way that avoids causing them too much distress or humiliation.
See also: down, gently, let

ˌeasy/ˌgently/ˌslowly ˈdoes it

(informal) used for telling somebody to be careful, calm, etc: Easy does it! Just lift it a little bit and I think it’ll go through the door.
See also: does, easy, gently, slowly
References in classic literature ?
While, therefore, John ran to the spring for fresh water, and Simeon the second sifted meal for corn-cakes, and Mary ground coffee, Rachel moved gently, and quietly about, making biscuits, cutting up chicken, and diffusing a sort of sunny radiance over the whole proceeding generally.
Immediately a brilliant light from the next room, or rather from the palace adjoining, shone upon the room in which he was gently gliding into his last sleep.
At the first dawn of day, a current drove it gently toward the west-northwest.
Ignorant of the provocation which had produced this unforgiving temper of mind, Miss Ladd gently remonstrated.
Button-Bright yelled with fear when Dorothy first took his hand and led him toward the great beasts; but the girl insisted they were kind and good, and so the boy mustered up courage enough to pat their heads; after they had spoken to him gently and he had looked into their intelligent eyes his fear vanished entirely and he was so delighted with the animals that he wanted to keep close to them and stroke their soft fur every minute.
He ran home and told his Mother, saying, "Although it hurts me very much, I only touched it gently.
As he turned an angle of the building, he heard a sound as of a door gently closed, and saw in the darkness, indistinctly, the figure of a man, which instantly disappeared among the trees of the lawn.
Lynde pushed them gently aside, tried his pulse, and then laid her ear over his heart.
Moy, to argue the point with you," he said, gently.
Presently, however, the door was gently opened and someone entered the room.
Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad to help, if it might.
Both his voice and looks were full of inexpressible tenderness when he spoke these words; and at the same time he laid gently hold on her hand, which she did not withdraw from him; to say the truth, she hardly knew what she did or suffered.
I was unable to prevent it, is a better way of phrasing it," I replied, still gently.
He hammered gently upon the framework with his fist, and the windows opened readily inwards, pushing back the curtain with them.
You're no more hers than--Perhaps she would let you come to me," he finished more gently.