Dictionary

soft–soap

transitive verb \ˈsf(t)-ˈsōp\

: to try to persuade (someone) to do something by using praise, kind words, etc.

Full Definition of SOFT-SOAP

:  to soothe or persuade with flattery or blarney
soft–soap·er \-ˌsō-pər\ noun
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First Known Use of SOFT-SOAP

1840

Synonym Discussion of SOFT-SOAP

cajole, coax, soft-soap, blandish, wheedle mean to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions. cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections <cajoled him into cheating on the final exam>. coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect <coaxed the cat out of the tree>. soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain <politicians soft-soaping eligible voters>. blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions <legislators blandished with promises of support>. wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading <hucksters wheedling her life's savings out of her>.

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