\ ˈsȯf(t)-ˈsōp How to pronounce soft-soap (audio) \
soft-soaped; soft-soaping; soft-soaps

Definition of soft-soap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to soothe or persuade with flattery or blarney

soft soap


Definition of soft soap (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a semifluid soap made especially from potassium hydroxide

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Other Words from soft-soap


soft-soaper \ ˈsȯf(t)-​ˌsō-​pər How to pronounce soft-soaper (audio) \ noun

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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

Examples of soft-soap in a Sentence

Noun a salesman who knows the value of soft soap in making a sale
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Later, barber is seen crouching on his bed, holding lighted match under jam jar of water, soft soap and boot blacking. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, "Wartime for Wodehouse," 25 May 2020 Potassium hydroxide, on the other hand, produces an easily soluble soft soap. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "In Your Bathroom, the Scum of the Earth," 6 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of soft-soap


1835, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of soft-soap was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Soft-soap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce soft soap (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of soft-soap

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

soft soap


Medical Definition of soft soap

: soap of a semifluid consistency made principally with potash and having various medical uses (as in the treatment of skin diseases) specifically : green soap

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