Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of soft
Meaning of soft by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( RP ) enPR: sŏft, IPA: /sɒft/, X-SAMPA: /sQft/
    • ( US ) enPR: säft, sôft, IPA: /sɑft/, /sɔft/, X-SAMPA: /sAft/, /sOft/
    • Rhymes: -ɒft


    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 .


    soft ( comparative softer, superlative softest )

    1. Giving way under pressure .
      My head sank easily into the soft pillow .
    2. ( of cloth or similar material ) Smooth and flexible .
      Polish the silver with a soft cloth to avoid scratching .
    3. Gentle .
      There was a soft breeze blowing .
    4. Requiring little or no effort, easy
      a soft job
    5. Not bright or intense
      Soft lighting
    6. ( of a road intersection ) Having an acute angle .
      At the intersection, there are two roads going to the left. Take the soft left .
    7. ( of a sound ) Quiet .
      I could hear the soft rustle of the leaves in the trees .
    8. ( linguistics ) voiced, sonant
      DH represents the voiced ( soft ) th of English these clothes. — The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
    9. ( linguistics ) ( rare ) voiceless
    10. ( linguistics, Slavic languages ) palatalized
    11. ( slang ) Lacking strength or resolve, wimpy .
      When it comes to drinking, he is as soft as they come .
    12. ( of water ) Low in dissolved calcium compounds .
      You won't need as much soap, as the water here is very soft .
    13. ( Northern England, colloquial ) Foolish .
    14. ( 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 )
    15. ( of a person ) Physically or emotionally weak .
    16. Incomplete, or temporary; not a full action .
      The admin imposed a soft block/ban on the user or a soft lock on the article .



    See also



    1. ( archaic ) Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.



    By Wiktionary ( 2011/09/24 21:07 UTC Version )





    1. Formerly commonly used in the names of software houses.

Definition of soft by GCIDE Dictionary


  1. 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.

  2. Soft n. A soft or foolish person; an idiot. [Colloq.] G. Eliot.

  3. Soft, adv. Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly. Chaucer.

    A knight soft riding toward them. Spenser.

  4. Soft, interj. Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.

    Soft, you; a word or two before you go. Shak.