take the sting out of

take the sting out of (something)

To alleviate the pain or annoyance caused by something. Well, coming home to freshly baked cookies somewhat took the sting out of getting another parking ticket.
See also: of, out, sting, take
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

take the sting out of

Lessen the severity or unpleasantness of something, as in That senior citizen discount took the sting out of the airfares. [Mid-1800s]
See also: of, out, sting, 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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References in periodicals archive ?
Zap break-outs with Bye Bye Blemish's Drying Lotion (pounds 9.99 at Boots).Use overnight to take the sting out of spots
Captain Ged Brannan almost gave them hope of a recovery with a well-struck free kick in the last ten minutes, but again Lewis read the situation perfectly to take the sting out of the set piece, as the match tamely came to a frustrating conclusion.