take the sting out of

take the sting out of something

to slightly improve something that is unpleasant It was a difficult loss, but the support of the fans really took the sting out of it.
See also: of, out, sting, take

take the sting out of something

to make something that is unpleasant a little less unpleasant Humour, of course, can take the sting out of almost any unpleasant situation.
See also: of, out, sting, take

take the sting out of

Lessen the severity or unpleasantness of something, as in That senior citizen discount took the sting out of the airfares. [Mid-1800s]
See also: of, out, sting, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Captain Ged Brannan almost gave them hope of a recovery with a well-struck free kick in the last ten minutes, but again Lewis read the situation perfectly to take the sting out of the set piece, as the match tamely came to a frustrating conclusion.