let (one) down gently

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let (one) down gently

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

let someone down gently

seek to give someone bad news in a way that avoids causing them too much distress or humiliation.
See also: down, gently, let, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
And Bjorn, runner-up in three Majors and a world-class player with a great passion to play for Europe, could have been let down gently with a quiet word in advance.
The producers are to be let down gently, with a premium on offer for those who grub up, and Single Farm Payments with minimal environmental requirements attached.
The Liverpool kid was let down gently when national boss Craig Levein called to tell him a lack of games had ruled him out of the crunch Euro qualifiers with Liechtenstein and Spain.
THAT gentle "phhhhhttttt" noise you can hear is the sound of a string of Emmerdalians being let down gently like so many leftover balloons.
Historically with Cody, nobody is let down gently and when he methodically calls out the 15 players starting on the biggest day of their hurling careers, the unlucky few who miss out will simply have to accept it.
Florence isn't the only one to have been let down gently by the guys.