Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


 (sô′fən, sŏf′ən)
v. soft·ened, soft·en·ing, soft·ens
1. To make soft or softer.
2. To undermine or reduce the strength, morale, or resistance of.
3. To make less harsh, strident, or critical: softened the last paragraph of the letter.
To become soft or softer.

soft′en·er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.softened - toned down
modulated - changed or adjusted in pitch, tone, or volume
2.softened - being or made softer or less loud or clear; "the dull boom of distant breaking waves"; "muffled drums"; "the muffled noises of the street"; "muted trumpets"
soft - (of sound) relatively low in volume; "soft voices"; "soft music"
References in classic literature ?
Birds in their little nests agree," sang Beth, the peacemaker, with such a funny face that both sharp voices softened to a laugh, and the "pecking" ended for that time.
The disappointment that had come to him when a daughter and not a son had been born to Katherine had fallen upon him like a blow struck by some unseen hand and the blow had somewhat softened his egotism.
Marriage, and later the birth of his son had softened Armand Aubigny's imperious and exacting nature greatly.
The thing is but a trifle, and what you may often see if you tarry long among us," returned the scout, a good deal softened toward the man of song, by this unequivocal expression of gratitude.
They softened and embellished the aspect of the old house; although the shadows fell deeper into the angles of its many gables, and lay brooding under the projecting story, and within the half-open door.
Yet she knew that there was love in the child's heart, although it mostly revealed itself in passion, and hardly twice in her lifetime had been softened by such gentleness as now.
Before I had time to deal with that, however, he continued as if with the sense that this was an impertinence to be softened.
Get up, child," said Miss Ophelia, in a softened voice; "don't cry so.
Morgan le Fay hated him with her whole heart, and she never would have softened toward him.
Two or three thousand feet below us was a bright green level, with a pretty town in its midst, and a silvery stream winding among the meadows; the charming spot was walled in on all sides by gigantic precipices clothed with pines; and over the pines, out of the softened distances, rose the snowy domes and peaks of the Monte Rosa region.
Then he added to himself: "That's what made him remake the will; he thought he might get killed, and it softened him toward me.
Here Aurelia broke down and wept bitterly; for the recollection of the past had softened her heart and brought the comforting tears even more effectually than the news of her sister's death.