definitions
  • synonyms

soften

[ saw-fuhn, sof-uhn ]
/ ˈsɔ fən, ˈsɒf ən /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR soften ON THESAURUS.COM

verb (used with object)

to make soft or softer.

verb (used without object)

to become soft or softer.

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RELATED WORDS

mitigate, thaw, abate, relax, modify, ease, lessen, lower, melt, temper, relent, lighten, alleviate, dissolve, diminish, mellow, moderate, cushion, weaken, moisten

Nearby words

softball, softballer, softboard, softbound, softcover, soften, soften up, softener, softening of the brain, softhearted, softie

Origin of soften

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at soft, -en1
SYNONYMS FOR soften
Related formso·ver·soft·en, verbre·sof·ten, verbun·soft·en·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for soften

British Dictionary definitions for soften

soften

/ (ˈsɒfən) /

verb

to make or become soft or softer
to make or become gentler
(intr) commerce
  1. (of demand, a market, etc) to weaken
  2. (of a price) to fall
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 soften

soften


v.

late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper