1

soft

adjective \ ˈsȯft \

Definition of soft

1 a :pleasing or agreeable to the senses :bringing ease, comfort, or quiet
  • the soft influences of home
b :having a bland or mellow rather than a sharp or acid taste
c (1) :not bright or glaring :subdued
(2) :having or producing little contrast or a relatively short range of tones
  • a soft photographic print
d :quiet in pitch or volume
e of the eyes :having a liquid or gentle appearance
f :smooth or delicate in texture, grain, or fiber
  • soft cashmere
  • soft fur
g (1) :balmy, mild, or clement in weather or temperature
(2) :moving or falling with slight force or impact :not violent
  • soft breezes
2 :demanding little work or effort :easy
  • a soft job
3 a :sounding as in ace and gem respectively used of c and g or their sound
b of a consonant :voiced
c :constituting a vowel before which there is a \y\ sound or a \y\-like modification of a consonant or constituting a consonant in whose articulation there is a \y\-like modification or which is followed by a \y\ sound (as in Russian)
4 archaic :moving in a leisurely manner
5 :rising gradually
  • a soft slope
6 :having curved or rounded outline :not harsh or jagged
  • soft hills against the horizon
7 :marked by a gentleness, kindness, or tenderness: such as
a (1) :not harsh or onerous in character
  • a policy of soft competition
(2) :based on negotiation, conciliation, or flexibility rather than on force, threats, or intransigence
  • took a soft line during the crisis
(3) :tending to take a soft line usually used with on
  • soft on dictators
  • soft on law and order
b :tending to ingratiate or disarm :engaging, kind
  • a soft answer turns away wrath
  • —Proverbs 15:1 (Revised Standard Version)
c :marked by mildness :unassuming, low-key
8 a :emotionally suggestible or responsive :impressionable
b :unduly susceptible to influence :compliant
c :lacking firmness or strength of character :feeble, unmanly
d :amorously attracted or emotionally involved used with on
  • has been soft on her for years
9 a :lacking robust strength, stamina, or endurance especially because of living in ease or luxury
  • grown soft and indolent
b :weak or deficient mentally
  • soft in the head
10 a :yielding to physical pressure
b :permitting someone or something to sink in used of wet ground
c (1) :of a consistency that may be shaped or molded
(2) :capable of being spread
d :easily magnetized and demagnetized
e :lacking relatively or comparatively in hardness
  • soft iron
11 :deficient in or free from substances (such as calcium and magnesium salts) that prevent lathering of soap
  • soft water
12 :having relatively low energy
  • soft X-rays
13 of news :relatively less serious or significant
14 :occurring at such a speed and under such circumstances as to avoid destructive impact
  • soft landing of a spacecraft on the moon
15 :not protected against enemy attack
  • a soft aboveground launching site
  • soft targets
16 :biodegradable
  • a soft detergent
  • soft pesticides
17 of a drug :considered less detrimental than a hard narcotic
18 :easily polarized used of acids and bases
19 a of currency :not readily convertible
b of a loan :not secured by collateral
20 a :being low due to sluggish market conditions
  • soft prices
b :sluggish, slow
  • a soft market
21 :not firmly committed
  • soft unreliable political support
22 :soft-core
  • soft porn
23 a :being or based on interpretive or speculative data
  • soft evidence
b :utilizing or based on soft data
  • soft science
24 :being or using renewable sources of energy (such as solar radiation, wind, or tides)
  • soft technologies
25 of money :contributed (as by a corporation) to a political party rather than directly to a particular candidate

softish

play \ˈsȯf-tish\ adjective

softly

play \ˈsȯf(t)-lē\ adverb

softness

play \ˈsȯf(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of soft in a Sentence

  1. The ground was soft after the heavy rain.

  2. Iron and lead are soft metals.

  3. The rabbit's fur is soft.

  4. The room was painted in soft pink.

  5. the soft glow of the moon

Recent Examples of soft from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of soft

Middle English, from Old English sōfte, alteration of sēfte; akin to Old High German semfti soft


2

soft

adverb

Definition of soft

:in a soft or gentle manner :softly

Recent Examples of soft from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of soft

before 12th century


3

soft

noun

Definition of soft

:a soft object, material, or part
  • the soft of the thumb

Recent Examples of soft from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'soft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of soft

15th century



SOFT Defined for English Language Learners

soft

adjective

Definition of soft for English Language Learners

  • : easy to press, bend, cut, etc. : not hard or firm

  • : smooth and pleasant to touch

  • : having a very light color : not strong or bright in color or tone


soft

adverb

Definition of soft for English Language Learners

  • : in a soft or gentle way

  • : in a way that is not strong or forceful


SOFT Defined for Kids

1

soft

adjective \ ˈsȯft \

Definition of soft for Students

softer; softest
1 :not hard, solid, or firm
  • a soft mattress
2 :smooth or pleasant to touch
  • a soft silk
3 :having a soothing or comfortable effect :not bright or glaring
  • soft lights
  • soft colors
4 :quiet in pitch or volume
  • soft voices
5 :not strong or forceful :gentle
  • soft breezes
  • a soft touch
6 :involving little work or effort :easy
  • a soft job
7 :sounding like the letter c in ace or the letter g in gem
8 :easily affected by emotions :sympathetic and kind
  • a soft heart
9 :lacking in strength or fitness
  • He had grown soft from good living.
10 :free from substances that prevent lathering of soap
  • soft water
11 :not containing alcohol
  • soft drinks

softness

noun

2

soft

adverb

Definition of soft for Students

softer; softest
:softly
  • You hit the ball too soft.

Medical Dictionary

soft

adjective \ ˈsȯft \

medical Definition of soft

1 :yielding to physical pressure
2 :deficient in or free from substances (as calcium and magnesium salts) that prevent lathering of soap
  • soft water
3 :having relatively low energy
  • soft X-rays
4 :biodegradable
  • soft pesticides
5 of a drug :considered less detrimental than a hard narcotic
  • marijuana is usually regarded as a soft drug
6 :easily polarized used of acids and bases
7 a :being or based on interpretive or speculative data
  • soft evidence
b :utilizing or based on soft data
  • soft science


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up soft? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak evil of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!