soft

adjective
\ 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 on soft 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 entry 1
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 on has 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

soft

adverb

Definition of soft (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a soft or gentle manner : softly

soft

noun

Definition of soft (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Other Words from soft

Adjective

softish \ ˈsȯf-​tish How to pronounce soft (audio) \ adjective
softly \ ˈsȯf(t)-​lē How to pronounce soft (audio) \ adverb
softness \ ˈsȯf(t)-​nəs How to pronounce soft (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For those who prefer their complexions to skew baby-soft, Dr. Garshick recommends the Ferver Fermented Enzyme Acid Mask. Noemie Gokhool, Allure, 19 May 2022 This step guarantees great flavor, a buttery-soft texture and allows any excess water to evaporate, which ensures that the creamy dressings will cling to the spuds. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 15 May 2022 The dress itself is super comfortable with its lightweight, breathable fabric that customers say is soft to the touch. Carly Kulzer, PEOPLE.com, 10 May 2022 Thanks to age-old wisdom, this silky-soft cleanser will have your skin looking dewier and brighter than ever before. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 May 2022 It's wrapped in a plush micro-suede cover that's soft-to-the-touch and gives a feeling of luxury to your standard camping pillow design. Emily Belfiore, Travel + Leisure, 8 May 2022 Brown faces a range of criticism for her decision, including for her soft-on-crime approach and her failure to inform Nikki Thrasher’s mother of Hedquist’s clemency. Fox News, 29 Apr. 2022 Even after washing, these towels remained bright, absorbent, and soft to the touch. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Apr. 2022 Take this performance bag, which has the lean build of our favorite briefs combined with all-day-everyday specs including a moisture-wicking fabric and soft-but-grippy handles. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Adjective

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

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for soft

Adjective

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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best mattress toppers.

Learn More About soft

Time Traveler for soft

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near soft

sofkee

soft

softa

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for soft

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Soft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soft. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for soft

soft

adjective
\ 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

soft

adverb
softer; softest

Kids Definition of soft (Entry 2 of 2)

: softly You hit the ball too soft.

soft

adjective
\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on soft

Nglish: Translation of soft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soft for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!