take the edge off

take the edge off (something)

To make something less intense, severe, or unpleasant. We won't be having lunch for another hour, but if you're hungry now, I've got some snacks to take the edge off. We can give you some medication to help take the edge off the pain.
See also: edge, off, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take the edge off

 ((of) something)
1. Lit. to dull a blade. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Cutting hard stuff like that will take the edge off your knife blade.
2. Fig. to decrease the effect of something; to make something less blunt, critical, etc. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) He did not mean to insult the guest, and he quickly thought of something to say that would take the edge off his remark. Her comments were quite cruel, and nothing could be said to take the edge off of them.
See also: edge, off, take
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

take the edge off

Ease or assuage, make less severe, as in That snack took the edge off our hunger, or Her kind manner took the edge off her refusal. This term alludes to blunting the edge of a cutting instrument. Shakespeare used it figuratively in The Tempest (4:1): "To take away the edge of that day's celebration." The precise wording of the idiom dates from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: edge, off, take
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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