Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality of being soft.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being soft; -- opposed to hardness, and used in the various specific senses of the adjective.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The property or character of being soft, in any sense of that word.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. acting in a manner that is gentle and mild and even-tempered
  • n. poor physical condition; being out of shape or out of condition (as from a life of ease and luxury)
  • n. a disposition to be lenient in judging others
  • n. the property of giving little resistance to pressure and being easily cut or molded
  • n. a visual property that is subdued and free from brilliance or glare
  • n. a sound property that is free from loudness or stridency
  • n. the quality of being indistinct and without sharp outlines
  • n. the quality of weather that is deliciously mild and soothing
  • n. the trait of being effeminate (derogatory of a man)
  • n. a state of declining economic condition

Etymologies

soft +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But look at the dress, a knit cashmere number whose softness is evident to the eye.

    Katharine Graham: Portrait of a lady, on display in D.C.

  • It speaks of a certain softness and homey feeling.

    faux amis - French Word-A-Day

  • "The softness is what translated into the low scores," Toms said.

    USATODAY.com - Medinah carved up after wet, cloudy week

  • But in spite of the tears, her face wore an expression of softness.

    Rhapsody In Time

  • But softness is repulsive; and thus all progress is seen to be a frantic struggle towards an objective which you hope and pray will never be reached.

    The Road to Wigan Pier

  • Nor, though the attributes of the lion were there, was there wanting the certain softness, the hint of womanliness, which bespoke the emotional nature.

    To the Man on the Trail

  • I think American women deficient in softness – sensibility – at least they do not exhibit much; but they are less demonstrative than women generally are, and this may make them appear less tender.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • Their physical organization is apt to be weak and poor and sickly, and the intellectual element predominates over the emotional and sensual to a degree that makes them apparently deficient in softness and sensibility, and deprives their manner of a good deal of feminine charm and attractiveness, and very often gives it a character singularly at variance in its sharp abruptness with the delicate, refined order of beauty for which they are remarkable.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • Clara, with all her softness, is a sensible girl, and as for Traverse, if he is one to break his heart from an unhappy attachment, I have been mistaken in the lad, that is all! said the doctor, heartily.

    The Hidden Hand

  • Sales of SMT alignment sensors will experience some short-term softness due to the general weakening in overall economic conditions as well as electronics supply chain disruptions resulting from the Japanese tsunami earlier this year.

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