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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 ?
Supposing he were to put Ralph Nickleby at defiance, and were even fortunate enough to obtain some small employment, his being with them could only render their present condition worse, and might greatly impair their future prospects; for his mother had spoken of some new kindnesses towards Kate which she had not denied.
Not being able, in the absence of any change of clothes, to go to church that day, we were compelled to decline these kindnesses, one and all; and I was reluctantly obliged to forego the delight of hearing Dr.
Oliver turned homeward, thinking on the many kindnesses he had received from the young lady, and wishing that the time could come again, that he might never cease showing her how grateful and attached he was.
All these kindnesses, Kit acknowledged with various expressions of gratitude, and so many touches of the new hat, that the brim suffered considerably.
To move up a level, she completes 6 Kindnesses of her choice.
It is medicine much needed, wrapped in the guise of short story entertainment and true-life drama, and it's a breath of fresh air for a world too often marked by angst, conflict, and hopelessness; where small kindnesses are neither recognized nor celebrated.
Such kindnesses can be anonymous or not--and as simple as smiling at a too-busy clerk or helping a neighbor in need.