/ sɒft; NAmE sɔːft/ adjective
( soft·er , soft·est )
changing shape easily when pressed; not stiff or firm :
soft feather pillows
The grass was soft and springy.
less hard than average :
soft rocks such as limestone
smooth and pleasant to touch :
WITHOUT ANGLES / EDGES
not having sharp angles or hard edges :
This season's fashions focus on warm tones and soft lines.
The moon's pale light cast soft shadows.
LIGHT / COLOURS
[ usually before noun ] not too bright, in a way that is pleasant and relaxing to the eyes :
a soft pink
the soft glow of candlelight
RAIN / WIND
not strong or violent
SYN light :
A soft breeze rustled the trees.
not loud, and usually pleasant and gentle
SYN quiet :
soft background music
a soft voice
kind and sympathetic; easily affected by other people's suffering :
Julia's soft heart was touched by his grief.
soft (on sb/sth) | soft (with sb) (usually disapproving ) not strict or severe; not strict or severe enough
SYN lenient :
The government is not becoming soft on crime.
If you're too soft with these kids they'll never respect you.
( informal , disapproving ) stupid or crazy :
He must be going soft in the head .
NOT BRAVE / TOUGH ENOUGH
( informal , disapproving ) not brave enough; wanting to be safe and comfortable :
Stay in a hotel? Don't be so soft. I want to camp out under the stars.
( disapproving ) not involving much work; too easy and comfortable :
They had got too used to the soft life at home.
not containing mineral salts and therefore good for washing :
You won't need much soap—the water here is very soft.
( phonetics ) not sounding hard, for example 'c' in 'city' and 'g' in 'general'
► soft·ness noun [ U , sing. ]:
the softness of her skin
the softness of the water
—see also softly
- have a soft spot for sb/sth
—more at option , touch noun
Old English sōfte agreeable, calm, gentle , of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch zacht and German sanft .