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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


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.
Finally, while these financials do not paint a pretty picture, I will always be forthright with the shareholders and will not sugarcoat the facts.
Throughout his ministerial life, he has taken to heart what Scripture and 2,000 years of tradition have revealed, refusing to sugarcoat sin or allow false teachers to pass off sophistry as the authentic faith.
Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella didn't sugarcoat his comments when Fick was released, saying he thought Fick would be a better hitter.
It's not a heavy piece, it's a holiday piece, and even though I'm not one to sugarcoat an issue, this is not politicizing whether we should be there.
They're a lot more visceral, they're a lot more powerful because they were dealing with real life and they didn't try and sugarcoat it,'' said Self.
The books sugarcoat the occult, but they can lead to spiritual problems and grave consequences later on,'' said Kersey, a mother of two middle-schoolers.
We'd promise you sleep deprivation, mental torment, and muscles so sore you'll puke, but we don't like to sugarcoat things.
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.
While Allen sugarcoats the music -- a bit of calypso here (``LDN''), reggae and ska everywhere, hip-hop and even a little oom-pah-pah (``Alfie'') -- she's the kind of girl who will say anything on her mind and that can be nasty, cheeky, ironic, vindictive.
Q: Do you think the music softens the message, or maybe sugarcoats it?
But Spurlock sugarcoats the facts: George has complained about how the episode suggests he has softened his views, insisting he hasn't.