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
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

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Other Words from soft

Adjective

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

Her long dark hair is soft and carefully tended, and her wide brown eyes are bright. Jenny Gold, The Mercury News, "A young woman, a wheelchair and the fight to take her place at Stanford," 8 Sep. 2019 Most of it is grown in the mainland United States, in places like Red Lake County, where the soil is soft and the winters are cold. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "My time among the beet jockeys of northern Minnesota," 6 Sep. 2019 His shots are flat and a little odd—one moment soft and angled, the next sent hard to the back of the court. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "How Daniil Medvedev Became the Antihero of the U.S. Open," 6 Sep. 2019 There are just two manicure stations here — one for Bowen and one for her apprentice, Indigo Johnson — and the lighting is soft and warm. Sarah Kuta, The Know, "A new generation of Denver nail salons are booking up months in advance for Instagram-worthy nail art," 5 Sep. 2019 Her bold, glam brows, which were striking but still soft and natural. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Hayley Kiyoko's Red Carpet Brow Secret is Benefit's Brow Zings Pro Palette," 3 Sep. 2019 Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Sally Pasley Vargas, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: American chop suey is beloved comfort food served by families all over the country," 3 Sep. 2019 Whether by choice or for technical reasons, video details are what a friend of mine would call soft and puffy. Jon L. Jacobi, PCWorld, "Thinkware X700 dash cam review: Classy design with a few missing pieces," 2 Sep. 2019 Her long, dark hair is soft and carefully tended, and her wide brown eyes are bright. Los Angeles Times, "She got a full scholarship to Stanford. But can she afford the care she needs to go?," 2 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 Buki, beautiful, dust-skinned, soft, slightly saucy-breasted Buki. John Domini, chicagotribune.com, "‘Harbat’: Speaking to the dead, the living — and now Americans, too," 7 Aug. 2019 What to order: Peanuts and anchovies, chicken in a space suit, Parisian egg tart, lamb belly skewers ($16) and buffalo milk soft-serve sundae. San Francisco Chronicle, "Act I," 4 Jan. 2013 Jon & Vinny’s has a small, green-and-white-striped stand serving $5 soft-serve ice cream in front of Madhappy on Abbot Kinney. Hadley Tomicki, latimes.com, "Jeremy Fox to open Birdie G's this week, Pizzana in WeHo and Leo's Tacos in the SFV," 18 June 2019 Some units even have stained glass casting soft, colored light into the living space. Jeanne Kuang, Washington Post, "This historic church will be reborn as housing for seniors," 17 June 2019 The course has been playing soft all week, moist from a rainy spring and kept damp by the combination of low winds and overcast skies. Brian Costa, WSJ, "What to Watch For at the U.S. Open This Weekend," 15 June 2019 The Houston Street storefront, which soft-opened this week with 14-person classes on the ground level (the basement will follow next month), comes with its own creative history. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "These 5 Pilates Studios Have Fierce—and Incredibly Fit—Followings for a Reason," 21 Sep. 2018 The world’s largest car market (about 25 million unit sales in 2017), China has soft-targeted 2040 for a total ban on IC transportation; but the point at which diesel becomes uneconomic for auto makers will come long before. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Are We in the Last Days of Diesel?," 16 Aug. 2018

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

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

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Learn More about soft

Dictionary Entries near soft

soffit

Sofia

sofkee

soft

softa

softback

softball

Statistics for soft

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soft

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

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More Definitions for soft

soft

adjective

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

soft

adverb

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

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on soft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with soft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soft

Spanish Central: Translation of soft

Nglish: Translation of soft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on soft

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