soften
verb (softened; softening) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to make soft or softer 2. a. to weaken the military resistance or the morale of especially by harassment (as preliminary bombardment) — often used with up b. to impair the strength or resistance of — often used with up <
soften up a sales prospect
>
intransitive verb to become soft or softer <
her face softened
>
softener noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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