- 1 changing shape easily when pressed; not stiff or firm soft margarine soft feather pillows The grass was soft and springy.
- 2 less hard than average soft rocks such as limestone soft cheeses opposite hard not rough
- 3 smooth 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/colours
- 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 See related entries: Describing music sympathetic
- 8kind and sympathetic; easily affected by other people’s suffering Julia's soft heart was touched by his grief. opposite hard See related entries: Kind 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. See related entries: Describing strange traits, Stupid 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. See related entries: Brave 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 Word Origin Old English sōfte ‘agreeable, calm, gentle’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch zacht and German sanft.Extra examples The fabric has a beautifully soft texture. These tomatoes have gone all soft. Critics say that this soft approach to truancy has failed. He chose some soft background music and lit the candles. He sank back gladly into the soft feather pillows. If you’re too soft with these kids they’ll never respect you. It is a soft cheese with a hard rind. Julia’s soft heart was touched by his grief. She had a soft voice and a kind face. Soft lighting is often used by restaurants to create atmosphere. Soft margarine is better for you than butter or hard margarine. Soft rocks such as limestone are easily eroded. The kitchen was filled with the soft cosy glow of candlelight. The paint needs to be thinned in order to obtain softer tones. The roofs shone in the soft evening light. a colour scheme of soft pink and creamIdioms (informal) a person that you can easily persuade to do something, especially to give you money. Unfortunately, my father is no soft touch.
(informal) to like somebody/something She's always had a soft spot for you. (often disapproving) a choice which 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.