from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Yielding readily to pressure or weight.
  • adjective Easily molded, cut, or worked.
  • adjective Sports Not tense and therefore capable of absorbing the impact of a ball or puck and of catching, receiving, or controlling it.
  • adjective Out of condition; flabby.
  • adjective Smooth or fine to the touch.
  • adjective Not loud, harsh, or irritating.
  • adjective Not brilliant or glaring; subdued.
  • adjective Not sharply drawn or delineated.
  • adjective Mild; balmy.
  • adjective Tender or affectionate.
  • adjective Attracted or emotionally involved.
  • adjective Not stern; lenient.
  • adjective Lacking strength of character; weak.
  • adjective Informal Simple-minded or foolish.
  • adjective Not demanding or difficult; easy.
  • adjective Based on conciliation or compromise.
  • adjective Gradually declining in trend; not firm.
  • adjective Sports Scored on a shot that the goalie should have blocked.
  • adjective Informal and entertaining without confronting difficult issues or hard facts.
  • adjective Using or based on data that is not readily quantifiable or amenable to experimental verification or refutation.
  • adjective Softcore.
  • adjective Being a turn in a specific direction at an angle less acute than other possible routes.
  • adjective Of or relating to a paper currency as distinct from a hard currency backed by gold.
  • adjective Having low dissolved mineral content.
  • adjective Nonalcoholic.
  • adjective Nonaddictive or mildly addictive. Used of certain drugs.
  • adjective Having a low or lower power of penetration.
  • adjective Sibilant rather than guttural, as c in certain and g in gem.
  • adjective Voiced and weakly articulated.
  • adjective Palatalized, as certain consonants in Slavic languages.
  • adjective Unprotected against or vulnerable to attack.
  • adverb In a soft manner; gently.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To soften; make soft.
  • Go softly! hold! stop! not so fast!
  • In archery, smooth and even in flexure and recoil: said of a bow.
  • noun plural Rags of loosely woven or knitted goods, such as flannel, hosiery, etc.
  • Softly; gently; quietly.
  • Yielding readily to pressure; easily penetrated; impressible; yielding: opposed to hard: as, a soft bed; a soft apple; soft earth; soft wood; a soft mineral; easily susceptible of change of form; hence, easily worked; malleable: as, soft iron; lead is softer than gold.
  • Affecting the senses in a mild, smooth, bland, delicate, or agreeable manner.
  • Mild and agreeable; gentle; genial; kindly.
  • Smooth; flowing; not rough or vehement; not harsh; gentle or melodious to the ear: as, a soft sound; soft accents; soft whispers.
  • Not harsh or offensive to the sight; mild to the eye; not strong or glaring; not exciting by intensity of color or violent contrast: as, soft colors; the soft coloring of a picture.
  • Bituminous, as opposed to anthracitic: said of coal.
  • Nearly free from lime or magnesia salts, and therefore forming a lather with soap without leaving a curd-like deposit: said of water.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English softe ("soft, easy, gentle, yielding"), from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte ("soft, gentle, easy, comfortable"), from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz (“level, even, smooth, soft, gentle”), from *somaz (“agreeable, fitting”), from Proto-Indo-European *sem- (“one, whole”). Cognate with Dutch zacht ("soft"), German sanft ("soft, yielding"), Old Norse sœmr ("agreeable, fitting"), Old Norse samr ("same"). More at seem, same.


The word soft has been adopted by Lara Schenck.

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  • "Go softly! hold! stop! not so fast!"

    -- from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

    December 22, 2015

  • Moist.

    December 23, 2015

  • "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" Romeo and Juliet, II, 2.

    December 23, 2015