smooth ruffled feathers

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

smooth (one's) ruffled feathers

To attempt to calm or placate someone who is annoyed, irritated, or upset. I had to go and smooth my parents' ruffled feathers after my husband criticized them at dinner. The company has been in damage-control mode after the disastrous presentation, with the CEO trying to smooth investor's ruffled feathers.
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth

smooth (somebody’s) ruffled ˈfeathers

make somebody feel less angry or offended: Her note of apology was meant to smooth ruffled feathers, but it only seemed to make things worse. OPPOSITE: ruffle somebody’s/a few feathers
See also: feather, ruffle, smooth
References in periodicals archive ?
I am a migrant myself," he said, in a belated bid to smooth ruffled feathers.
To smooth ruffled feathers, Smith started holding weekly meetings where he would update his staff on the changes taking place.
GATES VISIT Clinton is the second top official from Washington to visit Azerbaijan in a month, following Defense Secretary Robert Gates' early June trip designed to smooth ruffled feathers and to guarantee U.
That falls eight days before the first anniversary of the election and it is widely either to lay down the law or to try to smooth ruffled feathers.
But he's in an awkward spot, trying to smooth ruffled feathers, deflect blame and keep some family harmony as his wife dispenses sarcasm and scorn.
NATURE watch: ornithologists aerated over dredging Sefton Park lake during the breeding season prompted a Liverpool council spokesperson to smooth ruffled feathers, saying: "This programme of mitigation measures includes relaxing the maintenance regime in those areas of the park outside the contract boundary and providing additional nesting opportunities in neighbouring Greenbank Park.