Euphemisms are words and phrases that make unpleasant ideas seem less harsh. Examples:

If you use a lot of euphemisms, people will begin to think you're being evasive.

Node your notes: from my speech class.

(From Greek: eu-, "good, well, easily" + pheme, "speaking")

A word or phrase used in place of a harsher or more direct expression (e.g. darned in place of damned); also, the use of such expressions.

Eu"phe*mism (?), n. [Gr. fr. to use word of a good omen; well + to speak: cf. F. euph'emisme. See Fame.] Rhet.

A figure in which a harsh or indelicate word or expression is softened; a way of describing an offensive thing by an inoffensive expression; a mild name for something disagreeable.

 

© Webster 1913.

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