sweetness and light

noun
a mild reasonableness
-

when he learned who I was he became all sweetness and light

Hypernyms: ↑affability, ↑affableness, ↑amiability, ↑amiableness, ↑bonhomie, ↑geniality

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noun
1. : a harmonious combination of beauty and intelligence

declared that the ideal of culture was sweetness and light

2. : mild reasonableness : amiability

suddenly dropped his threatening tone and became all sweetness and light

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1. extreme or excessive pleasantness or amiability.
2. decorous charm combined with intelligence.
[1695-1705]

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sweetness and light
An appearance of mildness, reasonableness, etc
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Main Entry:sweet

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sweetness and light,
1. a person or thing exhibiting unusual tolerance, understanding, or sympathy (often used ironically when such a display is entirely out of character): »

Now that they need us, they are suddenly all sweetness and light. Politics is neither “sweetness and light” nor “too dirty to get into,” [she] said (New York Times).

2. a union of moral, intellectual, and aesthetic qualities, regarded as the highest cultural ideal of mankind: »

Their ideal of beauty and sweetness and light, and a human nature complete on all its sides (Matthew Arnold). Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our lives with honey and with wax thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest things, which are sweetness and light (Jonathan Swift).

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social or political harmony

Khrushchev's next visit to the West was one of sweetness and light

a reasonable and peaceable person

when he's around she's all sweetness and light

Origin:
taken from Swift and used with aesthetic or moral reference, first by Arnold in Culture and Anarchy (1869)

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sweetness and light
: pleasant and enjoyable

Life is not all sweetness and light.

She was yelling at us all morning, but when the guests arrived, she was all sweetness and light.

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Main Entry:sweetness

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sweetness and light — is an English idiom that indicates a person’s friendliness and ease. Today, it is generally used ironically to describe insincere courtesy. For example: The two had been fighting for a month, but around others it was all sweetness and light.… …   Wikipedia

  • sweetness and light — ► sweetness and light good natured benevolence or harmony. Main Entry: ↑sweetness …   English terms dictionary

  • sweetness and light — noun Date: 1869 1. a harmonious combination of beauty and enlightenment viewed as a hallmark of culture 2. a. amiable reasonableness of disposition < they were all sweetness and light > b. an untroubled or harmonious state or condition < but all… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sweetness and light — noun That which is good, pure, pleasant, etc. So it transpired, though not everything at Garmisch was sweetness and light. The leader of the British team, Arnold Lunn, the father of alpine ski racing and a British public school amateur to the… …   Wiktionary

  • sweetness and light — good natured benevolence or harmony. [taken from Jonathan Swift and used by Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy (1869).] → sweetness …   English new terms dictionary

  • sweetness and light — Synonyms and related words: bathos, bleeding heart, cloyingness, goo, hearts and flowers, maudlinness, mawkishness, mush, mushiness, namby pamby, namby pambyism, namby pambyness, nostalgia, nostomania, oversentimentalism, oversentimentality,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • sweetness and light — 1. extreme or excessive pleasantness or amiability. 2. decorous charm combined with intelligence. [1695 1705] * * * …   Universalium

  • all sweetness and light — phrase if a person or situation is all sweetness and light, they are very pleasant, often in a way that seems false One minute she’s incredibly rude to me and the next she’s all sweetness and light. Thesaurus: polite in an unpleasant or insincere …   Useful english dictionary

  • all is sweetness and light — if all is sweetness and light, everyone is being friendly and pleasant with each other, especially when this was not expected. They had a furious argument last night but this morning all was sweetness and light …   New idioms dictionary

  • all sweetness and light — if a person or situation is all sweetness and light, they are very pleasant, often in a way that seems false One minute she s incredibly rude to me and the next she s all sweetness and light …   English dictionary

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