cushion/soften the blow

cushion the blow

To ease the pain or stress of something unpleasant. When my daughter had to get a shot at the doctor's office, I tried to cushion the blow by telling her we would go out for ice cream afterward.
See also: blow, cushion

soften the blow

To make the impact of something negative less harmful. The government is introducing financial reliefs to soften the blow to those affected by the devastating floods. Playgrounds typically have sand or rubber grounds to help soften the blow if children fall off the play structures. When you have to tell someone about the death of a loved one, there's really no way to soften the blow.
See also: blow, soften
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

soften the blow

COMMON If something softens the blow, it makes an unpleasant change or piece of news seem less unpleasant and easier to accept. Attempts were made to soften the blow, by reducing what some people had to pay. Note: You can also say that something cushions the blow. The firm is offering to cushion the blow with a £4,000 cash handout spread over two years.
See also: blow, soften
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

soften (or cushion) the blow

make it easier to cope with a difficult change or upsetting news.
See also: blow, soften
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cushion/soften the ˈblow

make something unpleasant seem less unpleasant and easier to accept: When he lost his job he was offered a cash payment to soften the blow.
See also: blow, cushion, soften
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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