Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


 (sôft, sŏft)
adj. soft·er, soft·est
a. Yielding readily to pressure or weight: a soft melon; a soft pillow.
b. Easily molded, cut, or worked: soft wood.
c. Sports Not tense and therefore capable of absorbing the impact of a ball or puck and of catching, receiving, or controlling it: a receiver with soft hands.
2. Out of condition; flabby: got soft sitting at a desk all day.
3. Smooth or fine to the touch: a soft fabric; soft fur.
a. Not loud, harsh, or irritating: a soft voice.
b. Not brilliant or glaring; subdued: soft colors.
5. Not sharply drawn or delineated: soft charcoal shading; a scene filmed in soft focus.
6. Mild; balmy: a soft breeze.
a. Tender or affectionate: a soft glance.
b. Attracted or emotionally involved: He has been soft on her for years.
c. Not stern; lenient: a coach who was soft on his players.
d. Lacking strength of character; weak: too soft for the pressure of being a spy.
e. Informal Simple-minded or foolish: He's soft in the head.
a. Not demanding or difficult; easy: a soft job.
b. Based on conciliation or compromise: took a soft line toward their opponents.
c. Gradually declining in trend; not firm: a soft economy; a soft computer market.
d. Sports Scored on a shot that the goalie should have blocked: a soft goal.
9. Informal and entertaining without confronting difficult issues or hard facts: limited the discussion to soft topics.
10. Using or based on data that is not readily quantifiable or amenable to experimental verification or refutation: The lawyer downplayed the soft evidence.
11. Softcore.
12. Being a turn in a specific direction at an angle less acute than other possible routes: a soft right.
13. Of or relating to a paper currency as distinct from a hard currency backed by gold.
14. Having low dissolved mineral content: soft water.
a. Nonalcoholic.
b. Nonaddictive or mildly addictive. Used of certain drugs.
16. Having a low or lower power of penetration: soft x-rays.
17. Linguistics
a. Sibilant rather than guttural, as c in certain and g in gem.
b. Voiced and weakly articulated: a soft consonant.
c. Palatalized, as certain consonants in Slavic languages.
18. Unprotected against or vulnerable to attack: a soft target.
In a soft manner; gently.

[Middle English, pleasant, calm, from Old English sōfte.]

soft′ly adv.
soft′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. the quality or an instance of being soft
2. (Metallurgy) metallurgy the tendency of a metal to distort easily. See brittleness2, toughness2
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


  1. Feels like walking on velvet —Slogan, Clinton Carpet Co.
  2. Flabby as an empty sack —Luigi Pirandello
  3. Flabby as a sponge —Guy de Maupassant
  4. (Arm … ) flabby as butter —Katherine Mansfield
  5. Fluffy as thistledown —William Humphrey
  6. (When I reached out to touch it, it) gave like a rubber duck —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  7. Gentle as a pigeon’s sound —Stephen Vincent Benét
  8. (Squeezed the trigger as) gently as a bee touching down to drink from a cowslip —Donald Seaman
  9. Gone limp as a bath towel —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  10. Graceful as Venetian quill strokes —Clarence Major
  11. Lank as a ghost —William Wordsworth
  12. [A chocolate bar] limp as a slab of bacon —Margaret Atwood
  13. Limp as calamari —Ira Wood
  14. (Paper bags as) limp as cloth —Alice McDermott
  15. (Arms) limp as old carrots —Anne Sexton
  16. (The potted palms were) limp as old money —George Garrett
  17. Looks soft as darkness folded on itself —Babette Deutsch
  18. Soft and scented as a damask rose —Vita Sackville-West
  19. Soft and silky as a kitten’s purr —Slogan, Alfred Decker Society Brand clothes
  20. (You are) soft as a bean curd —John Hersey
  21. (The rock was as white and as) soft as a bed —Vladimir Nabokov
  22. Soft as a bowl of jello —Anon
  23. [A distant ridge] soft as a cloud —William Wordsworth
  24. (Love’s twilight hours) soft … as a fairy’s moan —John Greenleaf Whittier
  25. Soft as a fat woman without a girdle —Anon
  26. (Humble love in me would look for no return) soft as a guiding star that cheers, but cannot burn —William Wordsworth
  27. (Cheeks) soft as a hound’s ear —Theodore Roethke
  28. Soft as a kitten’s ear —Slogan used for both Hews & Potter belts and Spiegel Neckwear ties
  29. Soft as a marshmallow —Anon

    Used primarily to imply a kind nature. “Soft as mush” is a common variation.

  30. (His touch was) soft as an airbrush —Molly Giles
  31. Soft as angel hair —Susan Richards Shreve
  32. (Snow) soft as a young girl’s skin —F. D. Reeve
  33. (Waves looked) soft as carded wool —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  34. Soft as fleece —Stephen Vincent Benét
  35. Soft as linen —Hayden Carruth

    The simile, which describes a stone, continues with another: “And flows like wax.” A slight twist gave Scott tissues its “Soft as old linen” slogan.

  36. Soft as lips that laugh —Algernon Charles Swinburne
  37. Soft as love —Hallie Burnett
  38. (Heartbeat) soft as snow on high snow falling —Daniel Berrigan
  39. (Her cheeks were … ) soft as suet —Raymond Chandler
  40. Soft as the thighs of women —W. D. Snodgrass
  41. Soft as the west-wind’s sigh —W. S. Gilbert

    This form of the west-wind comparison comes from Ruddigore. Using the qualitative comparison form, “Softer than it” dates back to the poet Shelley.

  42. Soft as yesterday’s ice cream —James Lee Burke
  43. Soft as young down —William Shakespeare
  44. Softening like pats of butter —John Updike

    In Updike’s story Made in Heaven, the comparison refers to the softening light in windows he describes as golden.

  45. (You are) soft like a shower of water —William H. Gass
  46. Soft, like a strokable cat —Beryl Markham
  47. Soft to the touch as a handful of yarn —Jessamyn West
  48. [Bodies] wobbly as custard —Alice Munro
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.softness - the property of giving little resistance to pressure and being easily cut or molded
consistency, eubstance, consistence, body - the property of holding together and retaining its shape; "wool has more body than rayon"; "when the dough has enough consistency it is ready to bake"
compressibility, squeezability, sponginess - the property of being able to occupy less space
downiness, featheriness, fluffiness - a light softness
flabbiness, flaccidity, limpness - a flabby softness
mushiness, pulpiness - a mushy pulpy softness
hardness - the property of being rigid and resistant to pressure; not easily scratched; measured on Mohs scale
2.Softness - poor physical conditionsoftness - poor physical condition; being out of shape or out of condition (as from a life of ease and luxury)
health problem, ill health, unhealthiness - a state in which you are unable to function normally and without pain
debility, feebleness, frailness, frailty, infirmity, valetudinarianism - the state of being weak in health or body (especially from old age)
disability, disablement, handicap, impairment - the condition of being unable to perform as a consequence of physical or mental unfitness; "reading disability"; "hearing impairment"
3.Softness - the quality of weather that is deliciously mild and soothingsoftness - the quality of weather that is deliciously mild and soothing; "the day's heat faded into balminess"; "the climate had the softness of the south of France"
clemency, mildness - good weather with comfortable temperatures
4.softness - a state of declining economic condition; "orders have recently picked up after a period of extreme softness"; "he attributes the disappointing results to softness in the economy"
economic condition - the condition of the economy
5.softness - a sound property that is free from loudness or stridency; "and in softness almost beyond hearing"
sound property - an attribute of sound
faintness - barely audible
decrescendo, diminuendo - (music) a gradual decrease in loudness
pianissimo, piano - (music) low loudness
loudness, intensity, volume - the magnitude of sound (usually in a specified direction); "the kids played their music at full volume"
6.softness - a visual property that is subdued and free from brilliance or glare; "the softness of the morning sky"
visual property - an attribute of vision
7.softness - acting in a manner that is gentle and mild and even-tempered; "his fingers have learned gentleness"; "suddenly her gigantic power melted into softness for the baby"; "even in the pulpit there are moments when mildness of manner is not enough"
personal manner, manner - a way of acting or behaving
8.softness - the quality of being indistinct and without sharp outlines
opaqueness, opacity - the quality of being opaque to a degree; the degree to which something reduces the passage of light
dimness, faintness - the quality of being dim or lacking contrast
vagueness - indistinctness of shape or character; "the scene had the swirling vagueness of a painting by Turner"
distinctness, sharpness - the quality of being sharp and clear
9.softness - the trait of being effeminate (derogatory of a man); "the students associated science with masculinity and arts with effeminacy"; "Spartans accused Athenians of effeminateness"; "he was shocked by the softness of the atmosphere surrounding the young prince, arising from the superfluity of the femininity that guided him"
femininity, muliebrity - the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for women
emasculation - loss of power and masculinity
depreciation - a communication that belittles somebody or something
10.softness - a disposition to be lenient in judging others; "softness is not something permitted of good leaders"
indulgence, lenience, leniency - a disposition to yield to the wishes of someone; "too much indulgence spoils a child"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
mÿkt, mildi


[ˈsɒftnɪs] N
1. [of ground, bread] → blandura f, lo blando; [of pencil, water, butter] → lo blando; [of bed, pillow] → lo mullido; [of muscles, flesh] → blandura f
2. [of skin, hair, fabric] → suavidad f
3. [of breeze, touch, voice, light, colour] → suavidad f; [of light] → lo tenue
4. [of sound, laugh] → suavidad f
5. (= kindness) → ternura f
6. (= leniency) [of person, approach] → indulgencia f, blandura f
7. (= weakness) → debilidad f
8. (= stupidity) → estupidez f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈsɒftnəs] n
[skin, hands, hair, fur, fabric] → douceur f
[ground, snow] → mollesse f; [bed, cushion, pillow] → douceur f, moelleux m
[light, colours, curves] → douceur f
[voice, music] → douceur f
(= leniency) → indulgence f
[market] → mollesse fsoft option nsolution f de facilitésoft pedal n (on piano)pédale f doucesoft-pedal [ˌsɒftˈpɛdəl]
vimettre la pédale douce
vtmettre la pédale douce sursoft porn nporno m soft soft sell npromotion f doucesoft shoulder n (US)bande f d'arrêt d'urgencesoft-soap [ˌsɒftˈsəʊp] vt (= flatter) → caresser dans le sens du poil soft-spoken [ˌsɒftˈspəʊkən] adjà la voix calme et poséesoft target ncible f facilesoft top n (= car) → décapotable fsoft toy npeluche f, jouet m en peluche
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Weichheit f; (of meat)Zartheit f; (of muscle)Schlaffheit f
(= smoothness, of skin) → Zartheit f; (of surface)Glätte f; (of material, velvet)Weichheit f; (of hair)Seidigkeit f
(= gentleness)Sanftheit f; (of light)Gedämpftheit f; (of music)leiser Klang; (of rain, breeze, pressure)Sanftheit f, → Leichtheit f
(Ling, of consonant) → Weichheit f
(= weakness, of character, government) → Schwäche f; (of treatment)Nachsichtigkeit f; (= leniency, of teacher, parent) → Gutmütigkeit f; (of judge, punishment)Milde f
(= ease: of life, job) → Bequemlichkeit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈsɒftnɪs] n (of skin, bed, snow, leather) → morbidezza; (of voice, manner, glance) → dolcezza; (indulgence) → indulgenza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(soft) adjective
1. not hard or firm; easily changing shape when pressed. a soft cushion.
2. pleasantly smooth to the touch. The dog has a soft, silky coat.
3. not loud. a soft voice.
4. (of colour) not bright or harsh. a soft pink.
5. not strict (enough). You are too soft with him.
6. (of a drink) not alcoholic. At the party they were serving soft drinks as well as wine and spirits.
7. childishly weak, timid or silly. Don't be so soft – the dog won't hurt you.
ˈsoftly adverb
ˈsoftness noun
soften (ˈsofn) verb
to make or become soft or softer, less strong or less painful. The thick walls softened the noise of the explosion.
ˌsoft-ˈboiled adjective
(of eggs) slightly boiled, so that the yolk is still soft. She likes her eggs soft-boiled.
ˌsoft-ˈhearted adjective
kind-hearted and generous. He had been given some money by a soft-hearted aunt.
ˌsoft-ˈspoken adjective
having a gentle voice or manner. She was a soft-spoken woman with a shy smile.
ˈsoftware noun
computer programs, as opposed to the machines themselves (ˈhardware).
ˈsoftwood noun, adjective
(of) the wood of a conebearing tree eg a pine. softwood furniture.
have a soft spot for
to have a weakness for (someone or something) because of great affection. He's always had a soft spot for his youngest son.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Don Quixote and Sancho were overwhelmed with amazement, and the bystanders lost in astonishment, while the Trifaldi went on to say: "Thus did that malevolent villain Malambruno punish us, covering the tenderness and softness of our faces with these rough bristles!
Bold thought, untiring imagination, softness and harmony, make a true poem.
Seek the good of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for that is but facility, or softness; which taketh an honest mind prisoner.
Again, when lovers are coming forth, soft music often conducts them on the stage, either to soothe the audience with the softness of the tender passion, or to lull and prepare them for that gentle slumber in which they will most probably be composed by the ensuing scene.
There is a softness in masculine nature, even the most brutal, which acts as a check.
The traveller in the south must often have remarked that peculiar air of refinement, that softness of voice and manner, which seems in many cases to be a particular gift to the quadroon and mulatto women.
By the grace of her movements, by the softness and flexibility of her small limbs, and by a certain coyness and reserve of manner, she reminded one of a pretty, half-grown kitten which promises to become a beautiful little cat.
He left me as suddenly as he had come, springing to the deck with the weight and softness of a tiger.
Instantly, from an open-mouthed, fang-bristling dog in full career of attack, he melted into a bundle of softness and silkiness, that trotted to the open hand and kissed it with a tongue that flashed out between white gleaming teeth like a rose-red jewel.
The one producing a temper of hardness and ferocity, the other of softness and effeminacy, I replied.
For a moment the startled light in her eyes was followed by a delicious softness. Her lips were parted, she leaned a little towards him.
One's gaze went with infinite relief from the scorched greys and sullen reds of the foreground to the blue-green softness of the eastward hills.