sugar the pill

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sugar the pill

To make something bad, unpleasant, or dissatisfactory easier to cope with, endure, or accept. The bosses are giving everyone an extra bonus this year, but I suspect it's a way of sugaring the pill with the massive layoffs that are scheduled. I have to tell my mom about wrecking her car, but I need to find a way to sugar the pill first.
See also: pill, sugar

sugar the pill

Make something unpleasant more palatable, as in There would be no Christmas bonus this year but management sugared the pill by giving workers extra vacation time over the holidays . [Late 1700s]
See also: pill, sugar

sugar the pill

BRITISH or

sugar-coat the pill

AMERICAN
COMMON If you sugar the pill, you try to make bad news or an unpleasant situation seem less unpleasant. Stirling tried to sugar the pill for his employee. `There'll be a ten thousand pound bonus if you agree to go quietly.' His bitter pill was sugar-coated with a promise of `free and fair' elections. Note: In British English, you can also say that you sweeten the pill. A few words of praise help to sweeten the pill of criticism.
See also: pill, sugar

sugar (or sweeten) the pill

make an unpleasant or painful necessity more acceptable.
The image here is of making bitter-tasting medicine more palatable by adding sugar.
See also: pill, sugar

sugar/sweeten the ˈpill

make something unpleasant seem less unpleasant: He tried to sweeten the pill by telling her she’d only be in hospital a few days.
See also: pill, sugar, sweeten