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

be (something) itself

To be the embodiment of a particular trait (stated between "be" and "itself"). My mom is just kindness itself—she's always willing to help anyone in need.
See also: itself

do (one) a kindness

To do a favor or something nice for one. Hey, do me a kindness and take these bags into the kitchen while I get the others from the car.
See also: kindness

kill (one) with kindness

To harm, inconvenience, or bother one by treating them with excessive favor or kindness. The phrase originated as the expression "kill with kindness as fond apes do their young," referring to the notion that such animals sometimes crushed their offspring by hugging them too hard. I love talking to Grandma, but she calls me twice a day to see how I'm doing—right now she's killing me with kindness.
See also: kill, kindness

out the kindness of (one's) heart

Because of one's altruistic generosity or goodwill, without personal or ulterior motivations. You expect me to believe you would do this out of the kindness of your heart? Come on, what are you looking for in return?
See also: heart, kindness, of, out

the milk of human kindness

An innate sense of compassion. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Lisa would never say anything that cruel—she has the milk of human kindness in her.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

do someone a kindness

to do a kind deed for a person. My neighbor did me a kindness when he cut my grass. I am always happy to have the opportunity of doing someone a kindness.
See also: kindness

kill someone with kindness

Fig. to be enormously kind to someone. You are just killing me with kindness. Why? Don't kill them with kindness.
See also: kill, kindness

milk of human kindness

Fig. natural kindness and sympathy shown to others. (From Shakespeare's play Macbeth, I. v.) Mary is completely hard and selfish—she doesn't have the milk of human kindness in her. Roger is too full of the milk of human kindness and people take advantage of him.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

kill with kindness

Overwhelm or harm someone with mistaken or excessive benevolence. For example, Aunt Mary constantly sends Jane chocolates and cake and other goodies, even though she's been told Jane's on a diet-nothing like killing with kindness . This expression originated as kill with kindness as fond apes do their young (presumably crushing them to death in a hug) and was a proverb by the mid-1500s.
See also: kill, kindness

milk of human kindness, the

Compassion, sympathy, as in There's no milk of human kindness in that girl-she's totally selfish. This expression was invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (1:5), where Lady Macbeth complains that her husband "is too full of the milk of human kindness" to kill his rivals.
See also: human, milk, of

kill someone with kindness

If you kill someone with kindness, you treat them too kindly when this is not what they need or want. `He is killing me with kindness,' Sallie says. `He's just too attentive.'
See also: kill, kindness, someone

kill someone with (or by) kindness

spoil someone by overindulging them.
This expression dates back to the mid 16th century; it famously appears in the title of Thomas Heywood's play A Woman Killed with Kindness ( 1607 ).
See also: kill, kindness, someone

the milk of human kindness

care and compassion for others.
This phrase comes from Macbeth. In Lady Macbeth's soliloquy on the subject of her husband's character, she remarks: ‘Yet I do fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way’.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

ˌkill somebody with ˈkindness

harm somebody by being too kind to them, usually without realizing what you are doing: The patient needs lots of exercise. Don’t let him stay in bed — you’ll kill him with kindness. OPPOSITE: be cruel to be kind
See also: kill, kindness, somebody

the milk of human ˈkindness

kind feelings: There’s not much of the milk of human kindness in him. I’ve never known such a hard man.This expression comes from Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

depend on the kindness of strangers

A form of self-deception. The phrase comes from Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), in which Blanche DuBois, with delusions of grandeur, has a destructive effect on her sister Stella’s marriage to Stanley Kowalski. Stanley rapes her, leading to her nervous breakdown, and commits her to a mental hospital. As the doctor leads her off, she says, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” The phrase “kindness of strangers” occasionally appears in other contexts, as in “With no rain for a month, my garden depends on the kindness of strangers.” Sue Miller used it in her novel The Lake Shore Limited (2010). Talking about two characters in her play, the playwright said: “Well, you are not Jay . . . a guy who’s betraying his wife. And I’m not Elena. I’m not . . . dependent upon the kindness of strangers.”
See also: depend, kindness, of, on, stranger

kill with kindness, to

To overwhelm with benevolence. The original saying was “to kill with kindness as fond apes do their young,” conjuring up the image of a large simian crushing its baby to death with too vigorous a hug. It appeared as a proverb in the mid-sixteenth century and was quoted in numerous sources thereafter. A Woman Kilde with Kindnesse is the title of one of Thomas Heywood’s best-known plays (1607). It was surely a cliché by the time Byron wrote (Letters and Journals, 1815), “Don’t let them kill you with claret and kindness.”
See also: kill

milk of human kindness, the

Sympathy, compassion. This expression, too, comes from Shakespeare. He used it in Macbeth (1.5), where Lady Macbeth tells her husband, “Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness” (to act as ruthlessly as he must in order to become king). Numerous writers have used the term, often to comment on the souring or curdling of that very milk, although one writer reports of one bishop meeting another and saying, “He had often heard of the milk of human kindness, but never hitherto had he met the cow” (E. M. Sneyd-Kynnersley, H.M.I., 1908).
See also: human, milk, of

milk of human kindness

Compassion or benevolence. Shakespeare again, but this time Macbeth. Lady Macbeth regrets that her husband doesn't have the overwhelming ambition that she has by saying, “Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way.” Macbeth heeds his wife, schemes and murders his way to the throne, and is then deposed and killed. The milk must have curdled. A compliment to a sweetheart of a person is to say that he or she is “full of the milk of human kindness.”
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
References in periodicals archive ?
151) God Almighty is kind, and the Prophet imitated Allah's example in its perfection by showing kindness to his servants and all creatures without any regard for their beliefs, color or nationality.
Are you and other anti-choice activists actually prepared to take on the task of teaching kindness, tolerance and anti-bullying to every child born to mothers who would have chosen not to give birth should you get your way and end access to safe and legal abortions?
The poor and needy students would get school uniforms, books and accessories from the Wall of Kindness, which would be functional soon, RDA Chairman Arif Abbasi told reporter on Sunday.
To coincide with the campaign, Instagram is also launching its first ever Ramadan camera effect "Lantern", to encourage members of the Instagram community to share their Ramadan celebrations and acts of kindness in a fun and creative way.
Our data shows that Ramadan is a time when people come to Instagram to share their moments of kindness and good deeds - with words associated with charity increasing significantly."
Grace Foxwell Murdock is widely known around the Wicomico County school system and the broader community as the "Kindness Lady." The retired elementary school teacher and founder of the nonprofit Wicomico grows Kindness, Murdock has created a variety of projects aimed at spreading kindness among children.
Now brought back into print for a new generation of appreciative readers, the autobiography of actress and screenwriter Salka Viertel (15 June 1889--20 October 1978), "The Kindness of Strangers" tells the life story of a brilliant, creative, and well-connected woman's pilgrimage through the darkest years of the twentieth century, a journey that would take her from a remote province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Hollywood.
(NYSE: LUV) has announced it has unveiled a partnership with The Kindness Diaries, streaming on Netflix, to support a mission of kindness, the company said.
M2 EQUITYBITES-March 4, 2019-Southwest Airlines teams with Netflix's Kindness Diaries to spread message of civility
Travel Business Review-March 4, 2019-Southwest Airlines teams with Netflix's Kindness Diaries to spread message of civility
message led me to consider kindness to one's voice, an important
Amato writes that the qualities of kindness - being friendly, generous and considerate - can help leaders coach their teams in very effective ways.
One man in Milton, Florida, USA, took the saying 'Kill them with kindness' literally when he threatened his neighbor to kill him with a machete he named 'kindness.'
For more than a decade, Ottawa has celebrated KINDNESS WEEK The week-long official activities include promoting charitable giving, celebrating volunteerism, expressing words of thanks, acknowledging the kindness of the caregivers in our community and extending acts of kindness to those who have been kind to others.
R A W A L P I N D I -- Authorities have decided to build a 'house of kindness' (Meharbani) for poor and needy families in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.