[ sawft-sel, soft- ]
/ ˈsɔftˈsɛl, ˈsɒft- /

verb (used with object), soft-sold, soft-sell·ing.

to promote (a product, service, etc.) using indirect or gentle persuasion: an advertising campaign to soft-sell a new perfume.


(of a sales technique) quietly or indirectly persuasive: a soft-sell approach to marketing.

Origin of soft-sell

First recorded in 1950–55

Definition for soft-sell (2 of 2)

soft sell


a method of advertising or selling that is quietly persuasive, subtle, and indirect (opposed to hard sell).

Origin of soft sell

First recorded in 1950–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for soft-sell

soft sell


a method of selling based on indirect suggestion or inducementCompare hard sell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with soft-sell

soft sell

see hard sell, def. 1.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.