[shoo g-er-koht]

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sugar-coat

mull, honey, candy, sugar, candy-coat, sugar-coat

Examples from the Web for sugar-coat

Contemporary Examples of sugar-coat

Historical Examples of sugar-coat

  • He really understood how to sugar-coat poison as well as any man of his stamp could.

  • You understand very well, too, how to sugar-coat the most bitter pills.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for sugar-coat


verb (tr)

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

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