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do someone a kindness

to do a kind deed for a person. My neighbor did me a kindness when he cut my grass. I am always happy to have the opportunity of doing someone a kindness.
See also: kindness

kill someone with kindness

Fig. to be enormously kind to someone. You are just killing me with kindness. Why? Don't kill them with kindness.
See also: kill, kindness

milk of human kindness

Fig. natural kindness and sympathy shown to others. (From Shakespeare's play Macbeth, I. v.) Mary is completely hard and selfish—she doesn't have the milk of human kindness in her. Roger is too full of the milk of human kindness and people take advantage of him.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

kill somebody with kindness

to get what you want by being very kind to another person While most coaches can be very tough, ours kills his players with kindness.
See also: kill, kindness

kill somebody with kindness

to be too kind to someone Rob's killing me with kindness - he phones me all the time to see if I'm alright when really I just need to be left alone.
See also: kill, kindness

the milk of human kindness

being good and kind to other people
Usage notes: This phrase comes from Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth'.
She's one of those amazing people who's just overflowing with the milk of human kindness.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

kill with kindness

Overwhelm or harm someone with mistaken or excessive benevolence. For example, Aunt Mary constantly sends Jane chocolates and cake and other goodies, even though she's been told Jane's on a diet-nothing like killing with kindness . This expression originated as kill with kindness as fond apes do their young (presumably crushing them to death in a hug) and was a proverb by the mid-1500s.
See also: kill, kindness

milk of human kindness, the

Compassion, sympathy, as in There's no milk of human kindness in that girl-she's totally selfish. This expression was invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (1:5), where Lady Macbeth complains that her husband "is too full of the milk of human kindness" to kill his rivals.
See also: human, milk, of

milk of human kindness

Compassion or benevolence. Shakespeare again, but this time Macbeth. Lady Macbeth regrets that her husband doesn't have the overwhelming ambition that she has by saying, “Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way.” Macbeth heeds his wife, schemes and murders his way to the throne, and is then deposed and killed. The milk must have curdled. A compliment to a sweetheart of a person is to say that he or she is “full of the milk of human kindness.”
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
References in classic literature ?
His kindness to his little cousin was consistent with his situation and rights: he made her some very pretty presents, and laughed at her.
Price: he assisted her liberally in the education and disposal of her sons as they became old enough for a determinate pursuit; and Fanny, though almost totally separated from her family, was sensible of the truest satisfaction in hearing of any kindness towards them, or of anything at all promising in their situation or conduct.
as to your continuing here as I hoped for many, many weeks longer, how can I tell you that your kindness is not to be accepted -- and that the happiness your company has hitherto given us is to be repaid by -- But I must not trust myself with words.
I will trust to your own kindness of heart when I am at a distance from you.
It will please me to have you show them every kindness and honor in your power, and to join me in making them happy and contented.
Tell me that you kindness to me, at least, was real--that you did not mean it to be for my unhappiness afterwards.
He boasted that he ruled by kindness and never struck a blow.
I grant that precaution is necessary in dealing with them," Joan agreed; "but I believe that more satisfactory results can be obtained by treating them with discreet kindness and gentleness.
I have stated in the preface to the first Edition of this work, and in the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, that it was in consequence of a wish expressed by Captain Fitz Roy, of having some scientific person on board, accompanied by an offer from him of giving up part of his own accommodations, that I volunteered my services, which received, through the kindness of the hydrographer, Captain Beaufort, the sanction of the Lords of the Admiralty.
Nay," replied she, "after your cruel usage of me when I saw you last, killing me would, perhaps, be too great kindness for me to expect.
He desired Mr Blifil to conduct him immediately to the place, which as he approached he breathed forth vengeance mixed with lamentations; nor did he refrain from casting some oblique reflections on Mr Allworthy; insinuating that the wickedness of the country was principally owing to the encouragement he had given to vice, by having exerted such kindness to a bastard, and by having mitigated that just and wholesome rigour of the law which allots a very severe punishment to loose wenches.
An episode of humour or kindness touches and amuses him here and there--a pretty child looking at a gingerbread stall; a pretty girl blushing whilst her lover talks to her and chooses her fairing; poor Tom Fool, yonder behind the waggon, mumbling his bone with the honest family which lives by his tumbling; but the general impression is one more melancholy than mirthful.
Every time he began to think about it, he felt that he must try once more, that by kindness, tenderness, and persuasion there was still hope of saving her, of bringing her back to herself, and every day he made ready to talk to her.
Thus Rosa had grown to be an amiable, giddy, wilful, winning little creature; spoilt, in the sense of counting upon kindness from all around her; but not in the sense of repaying it with indifference.
I asked, it is true, for greater treasures than a little food or rest: I required kindness and sympathy; but I did not believe myself utterly unworthy of it.