Definition of shoot (or kill) the messenger in US English:

shoot (or kill) the messenger

phrase

  • Treat the bearer of bad news as if they were to blame for it.

    • ‘It was much like a potentate of yore shooting the messenger carrying bad news.’
    • ‘If it were not for the Press, this situation could have continued indefinitely - so please don't shoot the messenger.’
    • ‘If only such people could focus their energies on the real issues in society, rather than insisting on shooting the messenger.’
    • ‘The truth hurts, but that's no excuse for trying to shoot the messenger.’
    • ‘The British public can't allow the Labour Party to shoot the messenger of such important news.’
    • ‘There is no time to be wasted by shooting the messenger of bad news.’
    • ‘Calling them names for doing so is like shooting the messenger who brings bad news.’
    • ‘We know that many people have an unfortunate tendency to kill the messenger who bears bad news, and sometimes it is necessary to take this tendency into account.’
    • ‘It is indeed a sorry state of affairs when Irish politicians resort to shooting the messenger when election results are not to their liking.’
    • ‘When people don't believe bad news, or don't want to believe it can affect them, the tendency is to shoot the messenger.’