\ ˈsȯft How to pronounce soft (audio) \

Definition of soft

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
3a : 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 onsoft on dictatorssoft 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
8a : 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 onhas been soft on her for years
9a : 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
10a : 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
19a of currency : not readily convertible
b of a loan : not secured by collateral
20a : 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
23a : 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



Definition of soft (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a soft or gentle manner : softly



Definition of soft (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from soft


softish \ ˈsȯf-​tish How to pronounce softish (audio) \ adjective
softly \ ˈsȯf(t)-​lē How to pronounce softly (audio) \ adverb
softness \ ˈsȯf(t)-​nəs How to pronounce softness (audio) \ noun

Examples of soft in a Sentence

Adjective The ground was soft after the heavy rain. Iron and lead are soft metals. The rabbit's fur is soft. The room was painted in soft pink. the soft glow of the moon
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Cook until the fruit is soft and begins to burst, 6 to 8 minutes. Erin Jeanne Mcdowell, Washington Post, "Naturally colorful glazes add a bold look to any homemade — or store-bought — cookie," 3 Dec. 2019 This means that the acidity and fruity aromatic finesse should be preserved, giving way to a soft, dry finish with effervescent bubbles. Rachel King, Fortune, "The Champagnes and Sparkling Wines Worth Popping for All Your Holiday Festivities," 1 Dec. 2019 By contrast, the vapor deposition method maintains the feel of the original fabric—cottons and wools stay soft. Wired, "A New Way to Make Comfy, Durable Smart Garments," 30 Nov. 2019 Other days, Anika will rub the little girl's arm with a soft brush. Arizona Republic, "'What good am I?': Foster mom saw a system so broken she was ready to give up. Instead, she decided to fix it," 27 Nov. 2019 The ground was really soft, and that was the hardest thing to manage. Daniel Petty, The Denver Post, "Colorado women 10th at NCAA cross country championships, Sage Hurta captures 4th All-American," 23 Nov. 2019 Out on Freights Bay, on the south coast, the swells are gentle and the water is as soft as suede. Sarah Firshein, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Barbados Shows Off the Island's Wilder Side," 17 Nov. 2019 Add the olive oil, set over medium-low heat, cover and stew slowly until the garlic is soft and melted in texture but not browned, about 10 minutes. SFChronicle.com, "MAINS: Delfina’s Spaghetti Pomodoro," 14 Nov. 2019 The cost for both buildings, soft costs like furniture, the parking lot, tower and all other expenses are expected to be around $20 million. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Commissioners court making plans for new sheriff’s office," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Six4Three's app, Pikinis, which soft-launched in 2013, relied on that data to allow users to easily find Facebook photos of their friends in bathing suits. NBC News, "Leaked documents show Facebook leveraged user data to fight rivals and help friends," 6 Nov. 2019 Ohio State currently does not, and while they are ranked in the top five, some consider that a soft ranking based on strength of schedule. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "College Football Playoff: Would an Ohio State loss at Nebraska kill the Buckeyes’ hopes?," 24 Sep. 2019 The Tex-Mex chain, which soft-opened to the public on Oct. 21 at 17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Taco Bell Cantina, selling beer and slushy cocktails, opens first South Florida location on Fort Lauderdale beach," 23 Oct. 2019 But the Jets’ schedule is baby soft after that, with games against the Giants, Bengals, Redskins and two versus the tanking Dolphins. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 7: Last-minute moves," 20 Oct. 2019 Beau Bradshaw’s Patrick Star is laid back and soft spoken, not big and dumb. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Review: ‘SpongeBob Musical’ is hip, squishy fun at The Bushnell," 2 Oct. 2019 Like hands that carefully mold soft, spinning clay into beautiful pottery, the women behind Firehouse Pottery & Arts seek to embrace the Taneytown community by bringing people together through art. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "At Firehouse Pottery & Arts in Taneytown, four generations embrace community, give kids a place to ‘hang out’," 25 Sep. 2019 The new restaurant soft-opened Sept. 12 and debuted officially Sept. 20. BostonGlobe.com, "Jamaica Mi Hungry," 20 Sep. 2019 Customers say they’re incredibly soft, stretchy, lightweight, and can be worn around the house during any time of year. Christina Butan, PEOPLE.com, "Amazon Shoppers Can’t Stop Raving About How Comfy These Cute, Under-$20 Lounge Pants Are," 30 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The lander will attempt a soft, controlled landing near the Moon's southern pole and then let the rover out to roam. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "India Is Sending a Rover to the Moon in 2018," 25 Oct. 2017 Elizabeth Arden White Tea: Soft and pure, this fragrance leaves a subtle sea breeze surrounding the wearer. Vanity Fair, Vanities, "A Few of Our Favorite Fragrances of the Season," 21 Apr. 2017 Installation Soft foam is sprayed into stud cavities. Elle Decor Staff, ELLE Decor, "Buying Guide: Insulation," 19 Nov. 2007

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.

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First Known Use of soft


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soft


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

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Time Traveler for soft

Time Traveler

The first known use of soft was before the 12th century

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Statistics for soft

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Soft.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/softer. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for soft

How to pronounce soft (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of soft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of soft (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US
: in a soft or gentle way
: in a way that is not strong or forceful
\ ˈsȯft How to pronounce soft (audio) \
softer; softest

Kids Definition of soft

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from soft

softness noun


softer; softest

Kids Definition of soft (Entry 2 of 2)

: softly You hit the ball too soft.
\ ˈsȯft How to pronounce soft (audio) \

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
7a : being or based on interpretive or speculative data soft evidence
b : utilizing or based on soft data soft science

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More from Merriam-Webster on soft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with soft

Spanish Central: Translation of soft

Nglish: Translation of soft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on soft

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


a period of high artistic development

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