[shoo g-er-koh-ting]
  1. the act or process of covering something with sugar.
  2. a coating or layer of sugar or a sugary substance.
  3. a thing used to make something else considered unpleasant or disagreeable seem attractive or palatable.

Origin of sugarcoating

First recorded in 1905–10; sugar + coat + -ing1


[shoo g-er-koht]
verb (used with object)
  1. to cover with sugar: to sugarcoat a pill.
  2. 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. 2018

Related Words for sugarcoating

soothe, mollify, pacify, alleviate, candy-coat

Examples from the Web for sugarcoating

Contemporary Examples of sugarcoating

Historical Examples of sugarcoating

  • We have too long persisted in the "sugarcoating" conception of interest.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

Word Origin and History for sugarcoating



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper