smooth things over


1. ease tension or anger between two or more people






Check Icon How to Memorize

I'm going to try and smooth things over

Check Icon Analysis

When you 'smooth things over' you attempt to resolve problems, disagreements or difficulties by talking to the people involved. If people are going through a tough time we say they are 'going through a rough patch' so 'smoothing things over' is the opposite and making things ok again.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. David is still angry at me over what happened. I think I'll buy him a beer after work and try to smooth things over.
  2. I often offend people accidentally, but luckily I am very good at smoothing things over afterwards.
  3. The therapist smoothed over relations between the arguing couple by getting them to talk to each other about their feelings. 

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. We were in trouble with the public over violating regulations so we made a generous donation to the community in the hope of smoothing things over.
  2. Nothing the party could say or do will smooth over their recent scandal.

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