kindness

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do (one) a kindness

To do something nice for someone. 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

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

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

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

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 classic literature ?
Supposing he were to put Ralph Nickleby at defiance, and were even fortunate enough to obtain some small employment, his being with them could only render their present condition worse, and might greatly impair their future prospects; for his mother had spoken of some new kindnesses towards Kate which she had not denied.
Not being able, in the absence of any change of clothes, to go to church that day, we were compelled to decline these kindnesses, one and all; and I was reluctantly obliged to forego the delight of hearing Dr.
Oliver turned homeward, thinking on the many kindnesses he had received from the young lady, and wishing that the time could come again, that he might never cease showing her how grateful and attached he was.
All these kindnesses, Kit acknowledged with various expressions of gratitude, and so many touches of the new hat, that the brim suffered considerably.
To move up a level, she completes 6 Kindnesses of her choice.
It is medicine much needed, wrapped in the guise of short story entertainment and true-life drama, and it's a breath of fresh air for a world too often marked by angst, conflict, and hopelessness; where small kindnesses are neither recognized nor celebrated.
Such kindnesses can be anonymous or not--and as simple as smiling at a too-busy clerk or helping a neighbor in need.