Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
sugar-coat the pill
To make something bad, unpleasant, or dissatisfactory easier to cope with, endure, or accept. The bosses are giving everyone an extra 10% bonus this Christmas, but I suspect it's a way of sugar-coating the pill that there will be massive pay cuts in January. I have to tell my mom about wrecking her car, but I need to find a way to sugar-coat the pill first.
See also: pill
a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
Something good makes something bad more tolerable. I'm going to put on some fun background music while I work on this boring project because a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
A pill that does not contain medicine (and may not even contain sugar, as the term "sugar pill" is used broadly); a placebo. Some patients in the clincal trial will receive the medication, while others will receive sugar pills.
give someone some sugar
Rur. to give someone a kiss. Come here, honey, and give me some sugar. "Give me some sugar!" Grandma said when she saw me.
*sweet as honeyand sweeter than honey; sweet as sugar
very sweet; charming. (*Also: as ~.) Larry's words were sweeter than honey as he tried to convince Alice to forgive him. Jill: Is Mary Ann nice? Jane: Yes, indeed. She's as sweet as honey. Your little girl is darling! Just as sweet as sugar.
sugar/sweeten the pill(British, American & Australian) also sugar-coat the pill (American)
to make something bad seem less unpleasant The government have cut income tax to sweeten the pill of a tough budget.
the government or the country of the United States These smaller countries resent being so dependent on Uncle Sam for protection.See say uncle
A wealthy, usually older man who gives expensive gifts to someone much younger in return for companionship or sexual favors. For example, The aspiring young actress and the sugar daddy are a classic combination in Hollywood. The sugar in this term alludes to the sweetening role of the gifts, and daddy to the age difference between the pair. [Early 1900s]
sugar the pill
Make something unpleasant more palatable, as in There would be no Christmas bonus this year but management sugared the pill by giving workers extra vacation time over the holidays . [Late 1700s]
To make maple syrup or maple sugar by boiling maple sap: The farmer had gathered all the sap, and it was now time to sugar off.
n. an older man who takes care of a younger person, especially a young man or woman. Mr. Wilson is sort of a sugar daddy to the whole team.
Uncle (Sam)and Uncle Sugar
1. n. the personification of the U.S. Uncle Sugar wants a little more of your money this year.
2. n. a federal agent; federal agents. Uncle has some pretty strong ideas about who’s in charge of this investigation.
See Uncle Sam