let down easy

let (one) down easy

To deliver bad news to one in the kindest or least upsetting way possible. When you tell Ed that somebody already asked you to the dance, please let him down easy. I tried to let Susan down easy, but she burst into tears nonetheless.
See also: down, easy, let

let down easy

see under let someone down.
See also: down, easy, let
References in classic literature ?
You know I'm not the chap to be let down easy. We'll go through with it, then, and take all chances!
It was almost as if they expected to be let down easy. So I guess you can't win either way.