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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On the football field at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, Noah R. Green was No. 21, a dependable and good-natured, if soft-spoken, presence in the defensive backfield. BostonGlobe.com, "Capitol suspect struggled before attack, but motive remains unclear," 4 Apr. 2021 The usually soft-spoken Baron decided to raise his voice. CBS News, "Washington Post editor Marty Baron on our nation's "wake-up call"," 4 Apr. 2021 On the football field at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, Noah R. Green was No. 21, a dependable and good-natured, if soft-spoken, presence in the defensive backfield. New York Times, "Capitol Suspect Struggled Before Attack, but Motive Remains Unclear," 3 Apr. 2021 Laconic and soft-spoken, Mr. Hill spent nearly his entire government career working behind the scenes, avoiding photo ops while serving as a speechwriter and aide to secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz. Washington Post, "Charles Hill, diplomat, Yale professor and top adviser to George Shultz, dies at 84," 31 Mar. 2021 Oyler was a soft-spoken and reluctant witness even under questioning from prosecutor Steve Schleicher. Chao Xiong, Star Tribune, "Chauvin trial testimony begins with opening statements, three witnesses on first day," 30 Mar. 2021 The posturing took some focus away from Ngannou, the likable, soft-spoken muscleman with unbelievable punching power. Greg Beacham, ajc, "Ngannou eyes Jones for first UFC heavyweight title defense," 28 Mar. 2021 After signing a four-year, $22 million contract extension last week amid a flurry of offseason moves, the soft-spoken, contemplative Bowser is now the unlikely face of the position. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens veterans showed Tyus Bowser what it takes to succeed. Now he has to take charge.," 22 Mar. 2021 Described as a soft-spoken consensus-builder, Hassan will also be the country's first president born in Zanzibar, the archipelago that forms part of the union of the Republic of Tanzania, Reuters reports. Ebby Shaban, CNN, "Tanzania swears in Samia Suluhu Hassan as first female president," 19 Mar. 2021

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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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 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Soft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soft. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soft

Nglish: Translation of soft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of soft for Arabic Speakers

Comments on soft

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