sweeten the pill

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sweeten 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 sweetening 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 sweeten the pill first.
See also: pill, sweeten