: 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)
archaic: moving in a leisurely manner
: rising gradually
a soft slope
: having curved or rounded outline : not harsh or jagged
soft hills against the horizon
: marked by a gentleness, kindness, or tenderness: such as
: not harsh or onerous in character
a policy of soft competition
: based on negotiation, conciliation, or flexibility rather than on force, threats, or intransigence
took a soft line during the crisis
: tending to take a soft line—usually used with on
The ground was soft after the heavy rain.
Iron and lead are soft metals.
The room was painted in soft pink.
the soft glow of the moon
Recent Examples on the Web
The insides are super soft and equipped with long-pile cushioning for extra support and coziness.—Alesandra Dubin, Travel + Leisure, 23 Sep. 2023 The curls created by this iron were soft and silky and stayed for days.—Enjanae' Taylor, Southern Living, 22 Sep. 2023 This one is made from soft, full-aniline leather and comes in two shades: tan and brown.—Michelle Rostamian, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2023 Pair it with crisp white bedding, a soft upholstered headboard, rich woods, and uncomplicated silhouettes.—Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Sep. 2023 And while certain Republican politicians may not care that Orbán and company are making things more difficult for NATO and Ukraine, Fidesz is also taking a softer, more cooperative approach toward another country, one that its Republican allies see as a clear foe: China.—Emily Tamkin, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2023 For that reason, Dr. Gohara and Dr. Pomerantz suggest folks with sensitive skin either skip the practice altogether or at least opt for gentler alternatives, like a brush with softer fibers or even a washcloth.—Jenn Sinrich, SELF, 22 Sep. 2023 These mosaic-like pictures also incorporate ink and paint, so that soft flows abut hard edges.—Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 Quality rugs often have a dense, plush, and soft feel.—Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 11 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'soft.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Old English sōfte, alteration of sēfte; akin to Old High German semfti soft
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above