- ( RP ) enPR: sŏft, IPA: /sɒft/, X-SAMPA: /sQft/
- ( US ) enPR: säft, sôft, IPA: /sɑft/, /sɔft/, X-SAMPA: /sAft/, /sOft/
- Rhymes: -ɒft
- Giving way under pressure .
- ( of cloth or similar material ) Smooth and flexible .
- Gentle .
- Requiring little or no effort, easy
- Not bright or intense
- Soft lighting
- ( of a road intersection ) Having an acute angle .
- ( of a sound ) Quiet .
- ( linguistics ) voiced, sonant
- ( linguistics ) ( rare ) voiceless
- ( linguistics, Slavic languages ) palatalized
- ( slang ) Lacking strength or resolve, wimpy .
- ( of water ) Low in dissolved calcium compounds .
- ( Northern England, colloquial ) Foolish .
- ( physics ) Of a ferromagnetic material; a material that becomes essentially non magnetic when an external magnetic field is removed, a material with a low magnetic coercivity. ( compare hard )
- ( of a person ) Physically or emotionally weak .
- Incomplete, or temporary; not a full action .
- Formerly commonly used in the names of software houses.
- 1989, David J. Maguire, Computers in geography
- 1998, Chris Andrews, The education of a CD-ROM publisher
- 2005, Matthew MacDonald, Pro .NET 2.0 Windows Forms and custom controls in C#
- Soft ( sŏft; 115 ), a. [Compar. Softer ( sŏftẽr ); superl. Softest.] [OE. softe, AS. sōfte, properly adv. of sēfte, adj.; akin to OS. sāfto, adv., D. zacht, OHG. samfto, adv., semfti, adj., G. sanft, LG. sacht; of uncertain origin.]
1. Easily yielding to pressure; easily impressed, molded, or cut; not firm in resisting; impressible; yielding; also, malleable; -- opposed to hard; as, “a soft bed; a soft peach; soft earth; soft wood or metal.”
2. Not rough, rugged, or harsh to the touch; smooth; delicate; fine; as, “soft silk; a soft skin.”
They that wear soft clothing are in king's houses. Matt. xi. 8.
3. Hence, agreeable to feel, taste, or inhale; not irritating to the tissues; as, “a soft liniment; soft wines”. “The soft, delicious air.” Milton.
4. Not harsh or offensive to the sight; not glaring; pleasing to the eye; not exciting by intensity of color or violent contrast; as, “soft hues or tints”.
The sun, shining upon the upper part of the clouds . . . made the softest lights imaginable. Sir T. Browne.
5. Not harsh or rough in sound; gentle and pleasing to the ear; flowing; as, “soft whispers of music”.
Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low, -- an excellent thing in woman. Shak.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offense? Pope.
6. Easily yielding; susceptible to influence; flexible; gentle; kind.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine. Shak.
The meek or soft shall inherit the earth. Tyndale.
7. Expressing gentleness, tenderness, or the like; mild; conciliatory; courteous; kind; as, “soft eyes”.
A soft answer turneth away wrath. Prov. xv. 1.
A face with gladness overspread,
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred. Wordsworth.
8. Effeminate; not courageous or manly, weak.
A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft, and wandering. Jer. Taylor.
9. Gentle in action or motion; easy.
On her soft axle, white she paces even,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along. Milton.
10. Weak in character; impressible.
The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's. Glanvill.
11. Somewhat weak in intellect. [Colloq.]
He made soft fellows stark noddies, and such as were foolish quite mad. Burton.
12. Quiet; undisturbed; paceful; as, “soft slumbers”.
13. Having, or consisting of, a gentle curve or curves; not angular or abrupt; as, “soft outlines”.
14. Not tinged with mineral salts; adapted to decompose soap; as, “soft water is the best for washing”.
15. ( Phonetics ) Applied to a palatal, a sibilant, or a dental consonant ( as g in gem, c in cent, etc. ) as distinguished from a guttural mute ( as g in go, c in cone, etc. ); -- opposed to hard. Belonging to the class of sonant elements as distinguished from the surd, and considered as involving less force in utterance; as, “b, d, g, z, v, etc.”, in contrast with p, t, k, s, f, etc.
Soft clam ( Zool. ), the common or long clam ( Mya arenaria ). See Mya. -- Soft coal, bituminous coal, as distinguished from anthracite, or hard, coal. -- Soft crab ( Zool. ), any crab which has recently shed its shell. -- Soft dorsal ( Zool. ), the posterior part of the dorsal fin of fishes when supported by soft rays. -- Soft grass. ( Bot. ) See Velvet grass. -- Soft money, paper money, as distinguished from coin, or hard money. [Colloq. U.S.] -- Soft mute. ( Phonetics ) See Media. -- Soft palate. See the Note under Palate. -- Soft ray ( Zool. ), a fin ray which is articulated and usually branched. -- Soft soap. See under Soap. -- Soft-tack, leavened bread, as distinguished from hard-tack, or ship bread. -- Soft tortoise ( Zool. ), any river tortoise of the genus Trionyx. See Trionyx.
- Soft n. A soft or foolish person; an idiot. [Colloq.] G. Eliot.
- Soft, adv. Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly. Chaucer.
A knight soft riding toward them. Spenser.
- Soft, interj. Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.
Soft, you; a word or two before you go. Shak.
From Middle English softe ( “soft, easy, gentle, yielding” ), from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte ( “soft, gentle, easy, comfortable” ), from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz ( “level, even, smooth, soft, gentle” ), from *somaz ( “agreeable, fitting” ), from Proto-Indo-European *sem- ( “one, whole” ). Cognate with Dutch zacht ( “soft” ), German sanft ( “soft, yielding” ), Old Norse sœmr ( “agreeable, fitting” ), Old Norse samr ( “same” ). More at seem, same .
By Wiktionary ( 2011/09/24 21:07 UTC Version )
Definition of soft by GCIDE Dictionary