• synonyms


[sawft-sohp, soft-]
See more synonyms for soft-soap on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. Informal. to cajole; flatter.
  2. to apply soft soap to.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to use soft soap in washing.
Show More

Origin of soft-soap

First recorded in 1820–30

soft soap

  1. Informal. persuasive talk; flattery: to use soft soap to get one's way.
  2. the semifluid soap produced when potassium hydroxide is used in the saponification of a fat or an oil.
Show More

Origin of soft soap

First recorded in 1625–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for soft-soap

urge, activate, prompt, coax, engender, breed, promote, motivate, produce, persuade, convince, cause, generate, mislead, misrepresent, deceive, request, push, solicit, press

Examples from the Web for soft-soap

Historical Examples of soft-soap

  • And takes by the nose and belathers, with soft-soap, tremendously.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 105 December 16, 1893


  • Now hes trying to soft-soap the hermit into letting him have a hunt for it.

  • Do you think you can soft-soap me as easy as you did the boys?

    Friar Tuck

    Robert Alexander Wason

  • After all, soft-soap has its virtues; it is just the thing for the aged!

  • We clamour for soft-soap; we demand it at the point of the bayonet.

British Dictionary definitions for soft-soap

soft soap

  1. med another name for green soap
  2. informal flattering, persuasive, or cajoling talk
Show More
verb soft-soap
  1. informal to use such talk on (a person)
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for soft-soap


1630s, from soft (adj.) + soap (n.). Figurative sense "flattery" is recorded from 1830.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

soft-soap in Culture

soft soap

Flattery: “Mary asked the boss to stop giving her a lot of soft soap about her performance and to start leveling with her like any other employee.”

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with soft-soap

soft soap

Flattery, cajolery, as in She's only six but she's learned how to get her way with soft soap. This colloquial expression alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830.

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