One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘sweeten the milk with a little sugar’
make sweet, add sugar to, sugar, sugar-coat, add honey to, add sweetener to
2‘he chewed coriander seeds to sweeten his breath’
freshen, refresh, fresh, purify, deodorize, perfume
3‘there is no way to sweeten the bad news’
soften, ease, alleviate, make agreeable, relieve, mitigate, make less painful, mellow, temper, cushion
embellish, embroider, dress up
4‘the dividend has been increased to sweeten shareholders’
mollify, placate, soothe, soften, soften up, mellow, pacify, appease, win over
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