- 1changing shape easily when pressed; not stiff or firm soft margarine soft feather pillows The grass was soft and springy.
- 2less hard than average soft rocks such as limestone soft cheeses opposite hard not rough
- 3smooth and pleasant to touch soft skin a dress made from the finest, softest silk opposite rough without angles/edges
- 4not 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/colors
- 5[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 opposite harsh rain/wind
- 6not strong or violent synonym light A soft breeze rustled the trees. sounds
- 7not loud, and usually pleasant and gentle synonym quiet soft background music a soft voice sympathetic
- 8kind and sympathetic; easily affected by other people's suffering Julia's soft heart was touched by his grief. opposite hard not strict
- 9(usually disapproving) not strict or severe; not strict or severe enough synonym lenient soft (on somebody/something) The government is not becoming soft on crime. soft (with somebody) If you're too soft with these kids they'll never respect you. opposite tough crazy
- 10(informal) (disapproving) stupid or crazy He must be going soft in the head. not brave/tough enough
- 11(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. too easy
- 12(disapproving) not involving much work; too easy and comfortable They had got too used to the soft life at home. opposite hard water
- 13not containing mineral salts and therefore good for washing You won't need much soap—the water here is very soft. opposite hard consonants
- 14(phonetics) not sounding hard, for example “c” in “city” and “g” in “general” opposite hard Idioms
adjectivejump to other results
a choice that is thought to be easier because it involves less effort, difficulty, etc. They are anxious that the new course should not be seen as a soft option. He decided to take the easy option and give them what they wanted. Thesaurusoptionchoice alternative possibilityThese are all words for something that you choose to do in a particular situation.option something that you can choose to have or do; the freedom to choose what you do:We are currently studying all the options available. He was given one month's imprisonment without the option of a fine. Option is also the word used in computing for one of the choices you can make when using a computer program:Choose the “Cut” option from the Edit menu.choice the freedom to choose what you do; something that you can choose to have or do:If I had the choice, I would stop working tomorrow. She has a number of choices available to her.alternative something that you can choose to have or do out of two or more possibilities:You can be paid in cash weekly or by check monthly: Those are the two alternatives.option, choice, or alternative?Choice is slightly less formal than option, and alternative is slightly more formal. Choice is most often used for “the freedom to choose,” although you can sometimes also use option (but not usually alternative):If I had the choice/option, I would… If I had the alternative, I would… parental choice in education parental option/alternative in education. Things that you can choose are options, choices, or alternatives. However, alternative is more frequently used to talk about choosing between two things rather than several.possibility one of the different things that you can do in a particular situation:We need to explore a wide range of possibilities. The possibilities are endless. Possibility can be used in a similar way to option, choice, and alternative, but the emphasis here is less on the need to make a choice, and more on what is available.Patterns with/without the option/choice/possibility >of>something a(n) good/acceptable/reasonable/possible option/choice/alternative the only option/choice/alternative/possibility >open to>somebody to have a/an/the option/choice >of doing something> to have no option/choice/alternative >but to>do something a number/range of options/choices/alternatives/possibilities
the easy/soft option (often disapproving)jump to other results
a person that you can easily persuade to do something, especially to give you money Unfortunately, my father is no soft touch.
an easy/a soft touch (informal)jump to other results
to like someone or something She's always had a soft spot for you.
have a soft spot for somebody/something (informal)jump to other results
softnessjump to other results
noun [uncountable, singular] the softness of her skin the softness of the water see also softly