- yielding readily to touch or pressure; easily penetrated, divided, or changed in shape; not hard or stiff: a soft pillow.
- relatively deficient in hardness, as metal or wood.
- smooth and agreeable to the touch; not rough or coarse: a soft fabric; soft skin.
- producing agreeable sensations; pleasant or comfortable: soft slumber.
- low or subdued in sound; gentle and melodious: soft music; a soft voice.
- not harsh or unpleasant to the eye; not glaring: soft light; a soft color.
- not hard or sharp: soft outlines.
- gentle or mild: soft breezes.
- genial or balmy, as climate or air.
- gentle, mild, warm-hearted, or compassionate: a soft, grandmotherly woman.
- smooth, soothing, or ingratiating: soft words.
- not harsh or severe, as a penalty or demand.
- responsive or sympathetic to the feelings, emotions, needs, etc., of others; tender-hearted.
- sentimental or flowery, as language: soft, meaningless talk.
- not strong or robust; delicate; incapable of great endurance or exertion: He was too soft for the Marines.
- Informal. easy; involving little effort; not difficult, laborious, trying, or severe: a soft job.
- Informal. easily influenced or swayed; easily imposed upon; impressionable.
- lenient, permissive, or conciliatory, especially regarding something that is conceived of as dangerous or threatening: to be soft on Communism.
- (of water) relatively free from mineral salts that interfere with the action of soap.
- (of paper money or a monetary system) not supported by sufficient gold reserves or not easily convertible into a foreign currency.
- (of a market, market condition, or prices) declining in value, volume, profitability, etc.; weak: a soft tourist season.Compare firm1(def 7).
- (of money) plentiful or available at low interest rates or on easy terms: a soft loan.
- (of a metal) easily magnetized and demagnetized.
- (of solder) fusing readily.
- (of a metal or alloy) fully annealed, so as to provide minimum mechanical hardness.
- (of a photographic image) having delicate gradations of tone.
- (of a focus) lacking in sharpness.
- (of a lens) unable to be focused sharply.
- (of consonants) lenis, especially lenis and voiced.
- (of c and g) pronounced as in cent and gem.
- (of consonants in Slavic languages) palatalized.Compare hard(def 38).
- Military. (of a missile-launching base) aboveground and relatively unprotected from enemy attack.
- Aerospace. (of a landing of a space vehicle) gentle; not harmful to the vehicle or its contents: a soft landing on the moon.
- Physics. (of a beam of particles or electromagnetic radiation) having relatively low energy: soft x-rays.Compare hard(def 40).
- (of a delegate, voter, etc.) not committed to any one candidate.
- foolish or stupid: soft in the head.
- (of a detergent) readily biodegradable.
- something that is soft or yielding; the soft part.
- in a soft manner.
- be quiet! hush!
- not so fast! stop!
- be soft on someone, Informal. to be amorously inclined toward a person; have an affection for: He's been soft on her for years.
Origin of soft
Synonyms for soft
Examples from the Web for softs
Historical Examples of softs
- another name for soft commodities
- easy to dent, work, or cut without shattering; malleable
- not hard; giving little or no resistance to pressure or weight
- fine, light, smooth, or fluffy to the touch
- gentle; tranquil
- (of music, sounds, etc) low and pleasing
- (of light, colour, etc) not excessively bright or harsh
- (of a breeze, climate, etc) temperate, mild, or pleasant
- dialect drizzly or rainya soft day; the weather has turned soft
- slightly blurred; not sharply outlinedsoft focus
- (of a diet) consisting of easily digestible foods
- kind or lenient, often excessively so
- easy to influence or impose upon
- prepared to compromise; not doctrinairethe soft left
- informal feeble or silly; simple (often in the phrase soft in the head)
- unable to endure hardship, esp through too much pampering
- physically out of condition; flabbysoft muscles
- loving; tendersoft words
- informal requiring little exertion; easya soft job
- chem (of water) relatively free of mineral salts and therefore easily able to make soap lather
- (of a drug such as cannabis) nonaddictive or only mildly addictiveCompare hard (def. 19)
- (of news coverage) concentrating on trivial stories or those with human interest
- an older word for lenis
- (not in technical usage) denoting the consonants c and g in English when they are pronounced as palatal or alveolar fricatives or affricates (s, / dʒ /, / ʃ /, / ð /, / tʃ /) before e and i, rather than as velar stops (k, g)
- (in the Slavonic languages) palatalized before a front vowel or a special character (soft sign) written as Ь
- unprotected against attacka soft target
- militaryunarmoured, esp as applied to a truck by comparison with a tank
- finance, mainly US (of prices, a market, etc) unstable and tending to decline
- (of a currency) in relatively little demand, esp because of a weak balance of payments situation
- (of radiation, such as X-rays and ultraviolet radiation) having low energy and not capable of deep penetration of materials
- physics (of valves or tubes) only partially evacuated
- related to the performance of non-specific, undefinable taskssoft skills such as customer services and office support
- soft on or soft about
- gentle, sympathetic, or lenient towards
- feeling affection or infatuation for
- in a soft mannerto speak soft
- a soft object, part, or piece
- informal See softie
Word Origin for soft
Old English softe, earlier sefte, "gentle, mild-natured; easeful, comfortable, calm, undisturbed; luxurious," from West Germanic *samfti, from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (cf. Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft; and from a variant form with -ch- for -f-, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht, German sacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable."
From c.1200 of material things, "not stiff, not coarse, fine; yielding to weight." From late 14c. of wind, rain, etc. Of sounds, "quiet, not loud," from early 13c. Of words, "mild, restrained; courteous" mid-14c. From late 14c. as "indulgent," also "physically feeble; easily overcome, lacking manly courage." From 1755 of water ("relatively free from mineral salts"), from 1789 of coal. Meaning "foolish, simple, silly" is attested from 1620s; earlier "easily moved or swayed; soft-hearted, sympathetic; docile" (early 13c.). In reference to drinks, "non-alcoholic" from 1880. As an adverb, Old English softe "gently;" late 13c. as "quietly." As an interjection from 1540s.
Soft landing is from 1958 and the U.S. space program. Adjective soft-core (in reference to pornography) is from 1966 (cf. hardcore). Soft rock as a music style is attested from 1969. Soft sell is from 1955. Soft-shoe as a dancing style is attested from 1927. Soft-boiled is from 1757 of eggs; of persons, ideas, etc., 1930 (cf. half-baked). Soft-focus (adj.) of camera shots is from 1917. The softer sex "women collectively" is from 1640s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with soft
- soften up
- soft in the head
- soft job
- soft on
- soft pedal
- soft sell
- soft soap
- soft spot
- soft touch
- hard (soft) sell