Definition of softness noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɒftnəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɔːftnəs//
    [uncountable, singular]
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  1. 1the quality of changing shape easily when pressed; the quality of not being stiff or firm I rested back against the softness of the pillows. opposite hardness (1)
  2. 2the quality of being less hard than average woods of moderate softness opposite hardness (1)
  3. 3the quality of being smooth and pleasant to touch the softness of her skin opposite roughness (1)
  4. 4the quality of not having sharp angles or hard edges the softness of the shadows in the moonlight
  5. 5the quality in light of being pleasant and relaxing to the eyes because it is not too bright the softness of the evening light opposite harshness (3)
  6. 6the quality in rain or wind of not being strong or violent synonym lightness (3) the softness of the late afternoon breeze
  7. 7the quality of not being loud, in a way that is usually pleasant and gentle I knew it was him from the softness of his voice.
  8. 8the quality of being kind and sympathetic; the quality of being easily affected by other people's suffering They mistook his calmness for softness. opposite hardness (5)
  9. 9(usually disapproving) the quality of not being strict or severe, or of not being strict or severe enough synonym leniency Their softness on this issue has lost them a huge number of votes. opposite toughness (4)
  10. 10(informal, disapproving) the quality of not being brave enough; the quality of wanting to be safe and comfortable He worked to erase his reputation for softness. opposite toughness (1)
  11. 11(disapproving) the quality of not involving much work and being too easy and comfortable He spoke with contempt of the softness of modern life.
  12. 12the quality in water of not containing much calcium and other mineral salts and therefore being good for washing the softness of the water opposite hardness (9)
  13. 13(phonetics) the quality of not sounding hard, for example ‘c’ in city and ‘g’ in general