Soften Sof"ten, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Softened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Softening}.] To make soft or more soft. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) To render less hard; -- said of matter. [1913 Webster]

Their arrow's point they soften in the flame. --Gay. [1913 Webster] (b) To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable. [1913 Webster]

Diffidence conciliates the proud, and softens the severe. --Rambler. [1913 Webster] (c) To palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault. [1913 Webster] (d) To compose; to mitigate; to assuage. [1913 Webster]

Music can soften pain to ease. --Pope. [1913 Webster] (e) To make calm and placid. [1913 Webster]

All that cheers or softens life. --Pope. [1913 Webster] (f) To make less harsh, less rude, less offensive, or less violent, or to render of an opposite quality. [1913 Webster]

He bore his great commision in his look, But tempered awe, and softened all he spoke. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] (g) To make less glaring; to tone down; as, to soften the coloring of a picture. [1913 Webster] (h) To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; as, troops softened by luxury. [1913 Webster] (i) To make less harsh or grating, or of a quality the opposite; as, to soften the voice. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Søften — is a small Danish town in Jutland, about three kilometers south of Hinnerup and just outside Aarhus. The population of Søften was 2227 at last count (2004).HistoryArchaeologists have found evidence of people living where Søften was later built as …   Wikipedia

  • soften — UK US /ˈsɒfən/ verb ► [I] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET if demand, a price, a market, etc. softens, it stops increasing or it goes down: »Share prices softened with continued worries about the country s economic recovery. »Although demand softened again… …   Financial and business terms

  • soften — ► VERB 1) make or become soft or softer. 2) (often soften up) undermine the resistance of. DERIVATIVES softener noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Soften — Sof ten, v. i. To become soft or softened, or less rude, harsh, severe, or obdurate. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • soften — index allay, alleviate, assuage, commute, ease, extenuate, give (yield), mitigate …   Law dictionary

  • soften — (v.) late 14c., to mitigate, diminish, from SOFT (Cf. soft) (adj.). Meaning to make physically soft is from 1520s; intrans. sense of to become softer is attested from 1610s. Related: Softened; softening …   Etymology dictionary

  • soften — [v] calm, soothe abate, allay, alleviate, appease, assuage, become tender, bend, cushion, diminish, disintegrate, dissolve, ease, enfeeble, give, knead, lessen, lighten, lower, mash, mellow, melt, mitigate, moderate, modify, moisten, mollify,… …   New thesaurus

  • soften — [sôf′ən, säf′ən] vt., vi. [ME softnen: see SOFT & EN] 1. to make or become soft or softer 2. to weaken the resistance or opposition of …   English World dictionary

  • soften — [[t]sɒ̱f(ə)n, AM sɔ͟ːf [/t]] softens, softening, softened 1) V ERG If you soften something or if it softens, it becomes less hard, stiff, or firm. [V n] Soften the butter mixture in a small saucepan... Fry for about 4 minutes, until the onion has …   English dictionary

  • soften — soft|en [ˈsɔfən US ˈso: ] v [I and T] 1.) also soften up to become less hard or rough, or make something less hard or rough ≠ ↑harden ▪ Use moisturizer to soften your skin. ▪ Cook until the onion softens. 2.) if your attitude softens, or if… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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