let (one) down easy

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

let down easy

see under let someone down.
See also: down, easy, let
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Though my affections might now be said to be fairly weaned from Eliza Millward, I did not yet entirely relinquish my visits to the vicarage, because I wanted, as it were, to let her down easy; without raising much sorrow, or incurring much resentment, - or making myself the talk of the parish; and besides, if I had wholly kept away, the vicar, who looked upon my visits as paid chiefly, if not entirely, to himself, would have felt himself decidedly affronted by the neglect.
The record features classics like A Different Corner and Praying For Time alongside renditions of Terence Trent D'Arby's Let Her Down Easy and Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
With live vocals from his Symphonica tour, it includes orchestral workings of A Different Corner and Praying For Time and covers including current single, Let Her Down Easy. Vocally great, but I miss his clubby days.
Let Her Down Easy is my own particular favourite, but to be honest each track here is a cracker.
Produced by the late Phil Ramone and Michael, the record features classics like A Different Corner, Through and Praying For Time alongside renditions of Terence Trent D'Arby's Let Her Down Easy, Sir Elton John's Idol and Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
The star, 50, recorded Let Her Down Easy while on tour but was forced to make it broadcast friendly.
To promote his first album since 2004, and his first single since 2012, the singer enlisted unknown model Hannah Janes to star in the video for 'Let Her Down Easy', the Daily Star reported.
In this sticky sitch, it's best to let her down easy. Take her to a favorite place where the two of you can chat quietly and spill all about her crush's move.
Instead he concentrated on a true aficionado's choice of newer and/or more obscure tracks (Through, John And Elvis Are Dead, Cowboys And Angels and the like) and a highly varied selection of covers, ranging from Rufus Wainwright's bitter Going To A Town to Terence Trent Derby's sweet Let Her Down Easy and incorporating radical versions of Sting's Roxanne and New Order's True Faith.
There were fresh emotionally-wrought takes on covers such as Rufus Wainwright's Going To a Town and Terence Trent D'Arby's Let Her Down Easy.
I tried to let her down easy by reminding her that she had only known me for 17 hours, but that only made things worse.
Don't worry, I'll let her down easy - tell her the truth in a straightforward and honest way that won't hurt her feelings.
Other artists, too, such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and even Terence Trent D'Arby's Let Her Down Easy, the first single from the album, are all given the magic Michael treatment.
Lead single Let Her Down Easy, a cover of the Terence Trent D'Arby song, will have a new video.
The album includes highlights from George's back catalogue as well as covers of songs, such as Nina Simone's 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', and the lead single 'Let Her Down Easy', a cover of the Terence Trent D'Arby song, which will be accompanied by a new video.