in a low pitch or volume; quietly: We spoke softly so as not to wake the baby.Jazz was playing softly in the background.
Music. with a smoothly subdued and gentle sound: In this passage, the horns exit softly as the violins become more vibrant.
in a way that is neither harsh nor glaring to the eye: The room was softly lit with a dimmed chandelier and six flickering candles.
in a gentle, warm-hearted, or compassionate manner; tenderly; sympathetically: She softly embraced her son and reassured him of her love.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use softly in a sentence
By 2011, Danlan had become so popular that Ma could no longer keep his identity a secret, which the softly spoken 43-year-old now calls “a blessing in disguise.”'All Discrimination Comes from Ignorance.' Meet the Chinese Ex-Cop Creating a Global LGBTQ+ Community | Charlie Campbell / Beijing | June 25, 2021 | Time
This is because data protection agencies have mostly taken a softly-softly approach to bringing sites into compliance.
Movie theaters have been closed or, when softly reopened in pre-vaccine times, reserved exclusively for crazy people comfortable sitting in an enclosed space with strangers eating popcorn.You Should Absolutely Go Back to the Movies. I Did. And Cried. (A Lot.) | Kevin Fallon | May 28, 2021 | The Daily Beast
Although the man was paralyzed from the neck down, he imagined writing letters softly with his hand.Brain implants turn imagined handwriting into text on a screen | Anushree Dave | May 12, 2021 | Science News
It then turned itself sideways in a “belly flop” maneuver and headed back to Earth before righting itself, reigniting its engines and touching down softly.Elon Musk’s SpaceX lands Starship spacecraft in first full successful test flight | Christian Davenport | May 5, 2021 | Washington Post
His peers remember him as a bright man who spoke softly and occasionally came across as a bit shy.
He played it through once, singing the lyrics softly to his own guitar accompaniment.How Martin Luther King Jr. Influenced Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ | Peter Guralnick | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“J.W. heard Hayden say softly, ‘You smell good,’” the papers report.
He seemed to be here, there, everywhere, sitting under a tree softly strumming his guitar.
Kimberlin, who looks and softly speaks like a miniaturized clone of David Strathairn, could not lay a glove on his tormenter.The Weirdest Story About a Conservative Obsession, a Convicted Bomber, and Taylor Swift You Have Ever Read | David Weigel | August 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The two were standing together before the fire; Bernard watched Mrs. Vivian close the door softly behind her.Confidence | Henry James
The next instant the door closed softly behind them, and she went out of his life as a wife forever.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
Then the roof itself, with its gables and dormer windows, softly folded itself flat down upon the top of the house, out of sight.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
She glanced up at him softly, under long lashes,—a thrilling glance; but he missed its radiance, for his own eyes were far away.Rosemary in Search of a Father | C. N. Williamson
They were standing over the cots in the nursery late at night, and I think that Mamma was crying softly.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling