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[shoo g-er-koht] /ˈʃʊg ərˌkoʊt/
verb (used with object)
to cover with sugar:
to sugarcoat a pill.
to make (something difficult or distasteful) appear more pleasant or acceptable:
There was no way to sugarcoat the bad news.
Origin of sugarcoat
First recorded in 1865-70; sugar + coat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sugar-coat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He really understood how to sugar-coat poison as well as any man of his stamp could.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • You understand very well, too, how to sugar-coat the most bitter pills.

    Letters to an Unknown Prosper Mrime
  • They sugar-coat unpleasant truths, and are natural diplomats.

    How to Read Human Nature William Walker Atkinson
  • He did not sugar-coat enough the bitter truth which he was telling to the nation.

    William Lloyd Garrison Archibald H. Grimke
  • It prompts us to sugar-coat the sins which our forefathers swallowed in the rough; that is all.

  • Lester realized that this was an asinine attempt to sugar-coat the true story and it made him angry.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • (b) The Story with a Moral attempts to sugar-coat its sermon with a little narrative.

    Short Story Writing Charles Raymond Barrett
British Dictionary definitions for sugar-coat


verb (transitive)
to coat or cover with sugar
to cause to appear more attractive; make agreeable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sugar-coat



also sugar-coat, 1870, originally of medicine; figuratively, "make more palatable," from 1910. Related: Sugarcoated; sugarcoating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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