American English

Definition of soften up phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

soften up

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb
 
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Phrasal Verbs

    soften somebodyup

    (informal)
     
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  1. 1to try to persuade someone to do something for you by being very nice to them before you ask them Potential customers are softened up with free gifts before the sales talk.
  2. 2to make an enemy weaker and easier to attack
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: soften up