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Sugarcoat is a compound word. Compounds or compound words are words that are derived from two separate words joined together. Sugarcoat is a closed compound word, which is a word that is made up of two words joined together without hyphens or spaces. This type of compound is also called a solid compound word. Sugarcoat is also seen in its hyphenated form, sugar-coat. This is the preferred spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary. A hyphenated compound word is a compound that is composed of two or more words linked by hyphens. In general, hyphenated compound words are midway on the journey between being rendered as separate words to being rendered as one word. With the advent of the internet and a more relaxed attitude toward spelling, many compound words have quickly gone from hyphenated compound words to closed compound words. We will examine the definition of the word sugarcoat, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Sugarcoat means to present something in an attractive manner, to present something in a more acceptable or a more palatable manner. For instance, a person who wants to sugarcoat a situation may describe a thief as someone with “sticky fingers”, or a barroom fight as a “disagreement”. It is common for politicians and businessmen to sugarcoat bad news. The expression sugar coat came into use in the 1870s to mean to literally coat something with sugar. By the turn of the twentieth century, the term took on a figurative meaning. The closed compound word, sugarcoat, is currently more than three times as popular as the hyphenated form, sugar-coat. Sugarcoat is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are sugarcoats, sugarcoated, sugarcoating.


There are still some hints, sprinkled throughout the doc, of genuine rebellion, such as the withering observations of old-school Wigstocker Flotilla Debarge, never one to sugarcoat a thought or a feeling.  (The Hollywood Reporter)

President Donald Trump let loose Friday with a round of tweets that sugarcoat the consequences of his trade war with China. (The Youngstown Vindicator)

President Donald Trump let loose with a morning round of tweets that sugar-coat the consequences of his trade war with China. (The Associated Press)

While telling the basics of the Osmond story, they were also “sugarcoated a little bit,” he said.  (The Deseret News)

Guthrie saw a less than idyllic America and felt that Berlin’s song was sugar-coating the truth. (The Brooklyn Reporter)