Definition of sugar (or sweeten) the pill in US English:

sugar (or sweeten) the pill

phrase

  • Make an unpleasant or painful necessity more palatable.

    • ‘Indeed, they magnanimously suggest that the road tax be abolished to sugar the pill.’
    • ‘With no asides and soliloquies, nothing is put in to sweeten the pill.’
    • ‘He makes no attempt to sweeten the pill by positing an upside to emotional politics or strategies designed to boost self-esteem.’
    • ‘In many cases airlines will try to find a passenger who is willing to take a later flight, often sweetening the pill with a free upgrade.’
    • ‘The ‘horrible’ truth may taste ‘bad’ but Fischer, like any funny man worth his salt, sweetens the pill.’
    • ‘However, to sugar the pill of change it does have an RHS Award of Garden Merit, is hardy through the British Isles and should be available from garden centres and nurseries.’
    • ‘An increasing number of dating agencies are sweetening the pill by affecting introductions with clients who share a particular interest, but the biggest innovation for the industry has come with the internet.’
    • ‘As a result, the government took the less politically painful and unprecedented step of delaying the tax rise - sweetening the pill a little.’
    • ‘Opportunities for young people to have practical involvement with history and archaeology, especially the kind that sweetens the pill of prescriptive curriculum schooling, are, I believe, very limited.’
    • ‘Brown has always said he is an honest guy, but even mild-mannered Donnelly was irked by Brown continuously sugaring the pill.’