soft ( softer comparative) ( softest superlative )
1 adj Something that is soft is pleasant to touch, and not rough or hard., (Antonym: rough)
Regular use of a body lotion will keep the skin soft and supple..., ...warm, soft, white towels.
The sea air robbed her hair of its softness.
2 adj Something that is soft changes shape or bends easily when you press it., (Antonym: hard, firm)
She lay down on the soft, comfortable bed..., Add enough milk to form a soft dough., ...soft cheese.
3 adj Something that has a soft appearance has smooth curves rather than sharp or distinct edges.
(=gentle) (Antonym: hard)
This is a smart, yet soft and feminine look., ...the soft curves of her body.
softly adv ADV with v
She wore a softly tailored suit., ...a fresh, modern hairstyle which has long layers falling softly on the neck.
4 adj Something that is soft is very gentle and has no force. For example, a soft sound or voice is quiet and not harsh. A soft light or colour is pleasant to look at because it is not bright.
There was a soft tapping on my door..., When he woke again he could hear soft music.
softly adv ADV with v
She crossed the softly lit room..., She bent forward and kissed him softly.
5 adj If you are softon someone, you do not treat them as strictly or severely as you should do.
usu v-link ADJ, oft ADJ on n (disapproval, Antonym: hard)
The president says the measure is soft and weak on criminals...
6 adj If you say that someone has a softheart, you mean that they are sensitive and sympathetic towards other people., (approval, Antonym: hard)
Her rather tough and worldly exterior hides a very soft and sensitive heart.
7 adj You use soft to describe a way of life that is easy and involves very little work.
(=easy) (Antonym: hard)
The regime at Latchmere could be seen as a soft option...
8 adj Soft drugs are drugs, such as cannabis, which are illegal but which many people do not consider to be strong or harmful.
9 adj A soft target is a place or person that can easily be attacked.
Women who carry cash about in the streets, as they very often have to, are a very soft target.
10 adj Soft water does not contain much of the mineral calcium and so makes bubbles easily when you use soap., (Antonym: hard)
11 If you have a soft spot for someone or something, you feel a great deal of affection for them or like them a lot.
have a soft spot for sb phrase PHR after v, PHR n Terry had a soft spot for me... →
a soft touch →
A soft-boiled egg is one that has been boiled for only a few minutes, so that the yellow part is still liquid. adj
soft-core , softcore
Soft-core pornography shows or describes sex, but not very violent or unpleasant sex, or not in a very detailed way. Compare hard-core. adj ADJ n
soft drink ( soft drinks plural ) A soft drink is a cold, non-alcoholic drink such as lemonade or fruit juice, or a fizzy drink. n-count
If something in a photograph or film is insoft focus, it has been made slightly unclear to give it a more romantic effect. n-uncount
In the background, in soft focus, we see his smiling wife.
soft fruit ( soft fruits plural ) Soft fruits are small fruits with soft skins, such as strawberries and currants.
in AM, use berries
Soft furnishings are cushions, curtains, and furniture covers.
in AM, use soft goods
Soft goods are the same as soft furnishings.
Someone who is soft-hearted has a very sympathetic and kind nature. adj
soft landing ( soft landings plural ) In economics, a soft landing is a situation in which the economy stops growing but this does not produce a recession. n-count
soft loan ( soft loans plural ) A soft loan is a loan with a very low interest rate. Soft loans are usually made to developing countries or to businesses in developing countries. (BUSINESS) n-count
soft-pedal ( soft-pedals 3rd person present) ( soft-pedalling present participle) ( soft-pedalled past tense & past participle )
in AM, use soft-pedaling, soft-pedaled If you soft-pedal something, you deliberately reduce the amount of activity or pressure that you have been using to get something done or seen. verb
He refused to soft-pedal an investigation into the scandal. V n, Also V on n
Soft porn is pornography that shows or describes sex, but not very violent or unpleasant sex, or not in a very detailed way. n-uncount
soft sell , soft-sell
A soft sell is a method of selling or advertising that involves persuading people in a gentle way rather than putting a lot of pressure on people to buy things. (BUSINESS) n-sing
(Antonym: hard sell)
I think more customers probably prefer a soft sell.
soft shoulder ( soft shoulders plural ) On a busy road such as a freeway, thesoft shoulder is the area at the side of the road where vehicles are allowed to stop in an emergency.
(AM) n-count usu the N in sing
in BRIT, use hard shoulder
Soft skills are interpersonal skills such as the ability to communicate well with other people and to work in a team. n-plural
(Antonym: hard skills)
soft-soap ( soft-soaps 3rd person present) ( soft-soaping present participle) ( soft-soaped past tense & past participle ) If you soft-soap someone, you flatter them or tell them what you think they want to hear in order to try and persuade them to do something. verb
The government is not soft-soaping the voters here. V n
Someone who is soft-spoken has a quiet, gentle voice. adj
He was a gentle, soft-spoken intelligent man.
soft toy ( soft toys plural ) Soft toys are toys that are made of cloth filled with a soft material and which look like animals.
in AM, use stuffed animal, stuffed toy