Thesaurus

soft-soap

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of soft-soap

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to get (someone) to do something by gentle urging, special attention, or flattery
  • she cunningly soft-soaped her parents into letting her go on the trip

Synonyms for soft-soap

Words Related to soft-soap

Near Antonyms for soft-soap

2 to praise too much
  • shrewd voters who know when a politician is trying to soft-soap them

Synonyms for soft-soap

Words Related to soft-soap

Near Antonyms for soft-soap

soft soap

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of soft soap (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About soft-soap

How does the verb soft-soap differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of soft-soap are blandish, cajole, coax, and wheedle. While all these words mean "to influence or persuade by pleasing words or actions," soft-soap refers to using smooth and somewhat insincere talk usually for personal gain.

politicians soft-soaping eligible voters

When could blandish be used to replace soft-soap?

While in some cases nearly identical to soft-soap, blandish implies a more open desire to win a person over by effusive praise and affectionate actions.

legislators blandished with promises of support

When can cajole be used instead of soft-soap?

The meanings of cajole and soft-soap largely overlap; however, cajole suggests the deliberate use of flattery to persuade in the face of reluctance or reasonable objections.

cajoled him into cheating on the final exam

When would coax be a good substitute for soft-soap?

The words coax and soft-soap are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, coax implies gentle and persistent words or actions employed to produce a desired effect.

coaxed the cat out of the tree

In what contexts can wheedle take the place of soft-soap?

The words wheedle and soft-soap can be used in similar contexts, but wheedle suggests more strongly than cajole the use of seductive appeal or artful words in persuading.

hucksters wheedling her life's savings out of her

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soft-soap

Time Traveler for soft-soap

Time Traveler

The first known use of soft-soap was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Soft-soap.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/soft-soap. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on soft-soap

Dictionary: Definition of soft-soap

Comments on soft-soap

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!