softening

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soft·en

 (sô′fən, sŏf′ən)
v. soft·ened, soft·en·ing, soft·ens
v.tr.
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.
v.intr.
To become soft or softer.

soft′en·er n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.softening - the process of becoming softer; "refrigeration delayed the softening of the fruit"; "he observed the softening of iron by heat"
maceration - softening due to soaking or steeping
natural action, natural process, action, activity - a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings); "the action of natural forces"; "volcanic activity"
Adj.1.softening - having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin
soft - yielding readily to pressure or weight
Translations

softening

[ˈsɒfnɪŋ] N [of ground, metal, leather] → reblandecimiento m (Fin) [of economy, market] → debilitamiento m
softening of the brainreblandecimiento m cerebral
there has been a softening of his attitude/positionha suavizado or moderado su actitud/posición

softening

n
(lit)Weichmachen nt; softening of the brain (Med) → Gehirnerweichung f
(fig, of person) → Erweichen nt; (of anger, resistance)Nachlassen nt; there has been a softening of his attitudeer ist nachgiebiger geworden

softening

n. reblandecimiento, ablandamiento; suavidad.

softening

adj (lotion, etc.) suavizante
References in classic literature ?
HAVING been summoned to serve as a juror, a Prominent Citizen sent a physician's certificate stating that he was afflicted with softening of the brain.
But owing to the superstition that the fewer the people who know of it the less a woman in travail suffers, everyone tried to pretend not to know; no one spoke of it, but apart from the ordinary staid and respectful good manners habitual in the prince's household, a common anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a consciousness that something great and mysterious was being accomplished at that moment made itself felt.
As I look at the full stream, the vivid grass, the delicate bright-green powder softening the outline of the great trunks and branches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world above.
But do say that you forgive me, Nathalie," he entreated, softening.