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sugar-coat the pill

To make something bad, unpleasant, or dissatisfactory easier to cope with, endure, or accept. The bosses are giving everyone an extra 10% bonus this Christmas, but I suspect it's a way of sugar-coating the pill that there will be massive pay cuts in January. I have to tell my mom about wrecking her car, but I need to find a way to sugar-coat the pill first.
See also: pill

sugarcoat (something)

To say, explain, or present something in a manner that is easier to accept, understand, cope with, or endure. Don't sugarcoat it for me, Doc—is my wife going to make it? My grandmother was never one to sugarcoat her criticisms. If she thought you had messed up, she would tell you in no uncertain terms.
See also: sugarcoat


Said, explained, or presented in a manner that is easier to accept, understand, cope with, or endure. Stop giving me sugarcoated responses whenever I ask about the state of the project. I need to know how it's actually progressing! It doesn't have to be sugarcoated, but you should aim to be a bit more empathetic when you deliver a prognosis to one of you patients.
See also: sugarcoat


mod. palatable; inoffensive; easy to take. Math is so sugarcoated these days. Even I could learn it.
See also: sugarcoat
References in periodicals archive ?
When predicting sugarcoating, females were more likely to sugarcoat than males, and extraverts engaged in less sugarcoating behavior.
Though individuals may feel uncomfortable with sharing negative information in general, findings suggest they are less likely to sugarcoat information when they perceive that their organization expects feedback to be direct and accurate.
This is the welcome kind of parenting book that sugarcoats nothing.
This is the welcome kind of anthology that sugarcoats nothing: love for a child amplifies, but it also eviscerates.
Q: Do you think the music softens the message, or maybe sugarcoats it?