softly, adv.softness, n.
/sawft, soft/, adj., softer, softest, n., adv., interj.
1. yielding readily to touch or pressure; easily penetrated, divided, or changed in shape; not hard or stiff: a soft pillow.
2. relatively deficient in hardness, as metal or wood.
3. smooth and agreeable to the touch; not rough or coarse: a soft fabric; soft skin.
4. producing agreeable sensations; pleasant or comfortable: soft slumber.
5. low or subdued in sound; gentle and melodious: soft music; a soft voice.
6. not harsh or unpleasant to the eye; not glaring: soft light; a soft color.
7. not hard or sharp: soft outlines.
8. gentle or mild: soft breezes.
9. genial or balmy, as climate or air.
10. gentle, mild, warm-hearted, or compassionate: a soft, grandmotherly woman.
11. smooth, soothing, or ingratiating: soft words.
12. not harsh or severe, as a penalty or demand.
13. responsive or sympathetic to the feelings, emotions, needs, etc., of others; tender-hearted.
14. sentimental or flowery, as language: soft, meaningless talk.
15. not strong or robust; delicate; incapable of great endurance or exertion: He was too soft for the Marines.
16. Informal. easy; involving little effort; not difficult, laborious, trying, or severe: a soft job.
17. Informal. easily influenced or swayed; easily imposed upon; impressionable.
18. lenient, permissive, or conciliatory, esp. regarding something that is conceived of as dangerous or threatening: to be soft on Communism.
19. (of water) relatively free from mineral salts that interfere with the action of soap.
20. (of paper money or a monetary system) not supported by sufficient gold reserves or not easily convertible into a foreign currency.
21. (of a market, market condition, or prices) declining in value, volume, profitability, etc.; weak: a soft tourist season. Cf. firm1 (def. 7).
22. (of money) plentiful or available at low interest rates or on easy terms: a soft loan.
23. soft-core.
24. Metall.
a. (of a metal) easily magnetized and demagnetized.
b. (of solder) fusing readily.
c. (of a metal or alloy) fully annealed, so as to provide minimum mechanical hardness.
25. Photog.
a. (of a photographic image) having delicate gradations of tone.
b. (of a focus) lacking in sharpness.
c. (of a lens) unable to be focused sharply.
26. Phonet.
a. (of consonants) lenis, esp. lenis and voiced.
b. (of c and g) pronounced as in cent and gem.
c. (of consonants in Slavic languages) palatalized. Cf. hard (def. 38).
27. Mil. (of a missile-launching base) aboveground and relatively unprotected from enemy attack.
28. Aerospace. (of a landing of a space vehicle) gentle; not harmful to the vehicle or its contents: a soft landing on the moon.
29. Physics. (of a beam of particles or electromagnetic radiation) having relatively low energy: soft x-rays. Cf. hard (def. 40).
30. (of a delegate, voter, etc.) not committed to any one candidate.
31. foolish or stupid: soft in the head.
32. (of a detergent) readily biodegradable.
33. be soft on someone, Informal. to be amorously inclined toward a person; have an affection for: He's been soft on her for years.
34. something that is soft or yielding; the soft part.
35. softness.
36. in a soft manner.
interj. Archaic.
37. be quiet! hush!
38. not so fast! stop!
[bef. 1000; ME softe yielding, gentle, mild, OE softe agreeable; c. G sanft]
Syn. 1. pliable, plastic, malleable. 5. mellifluous, dulcet, sweet. 10. tender, sympathetic. 11. mollifying. 15. weak, feeble. 17. compliant, irresolute, submissive.

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(as used in expressions)

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Universalium. 2010.

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