take the edge off something

take the edge off something

COMMON If something takes the edge off a feeling or situation, especially an unpleasant one, it weakens its effect or unpleasantness. My head never seemed to clear completely, and the painkillers only took the edge off the pain. We had an informal chat before the interview and that took the edge off my nerves. Note: If something takes the edge off a blade, it makes it blunt.
See also: edge, off, something, take