soft

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See also: -soft

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English softe (soft, easy, gentle, yielding), from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte (soft, gentle, easy, comfortable), from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz (level, even, smooth, soft, gentle) (compare *sōmiz (agreeable, fitting)), from Proto-Indo-European *semptio-, *semtio-, from *sem- (one, whole). Cognate with West Frisian sêft (gentle; soft), Dutch zacht (soft), German Low German sacht (soft), German sanft (soft, yielding), Old Norse sœmr (agreeable, fitting), samr (same). More at seem, same.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

soft (comparative softer, superlative softest)

  1. Easily giving way under pressure.
    My head sank easily into the soft pillow.
  2. (of cloth or similar material) Smooth and flexible; not rough, rugged, or harsh.
    Polish the silver with a soft cloth to avoid scratching.
    soft silk; a soft skin
    • Bible, Matt. xi. 8
      They that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
  3. (of a sound) Quiet.
    I could hear the soft rustle of the leaves in the trees.
  4. Gentle.
    There was a soft breeze blowing.
  5. Expressing gentleness or tenderness; mild; conciliatory; courteous; kind.
    soft eyes
    • Bible, Proverbs xv. 1
      A soft answer turneth away wrath.
    • (Can we date this quote by William Wordsworth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A face with gladness overspread, / Soft smiles, by human kindness bred.
  6. Gentle in action or motion; easy.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VIII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      On her soft axle, white she paces even, / And bears thee soft with the smooth air along.
  7. Weak in character; impressible.
    • (Can we date this quote by Glanvill and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's.
  8. Requiring little or no effort; easy.
    • 1892, Robert Louis Stevenson, The Beach of Falesá
      Before that they had been a good deal on the move, trekking about after the white man, who was one of those rolling stones that keep going round after a soft job.
  9. Not bright or intense.
    soft lighting
  10. Having a slight angle from straight.
    At the intersection with two roads going left, take the soft left.
    It's important to dance on soft knees to avoid injury.
  11. (linguistics) Voiced; sonant.
  12. (linguistics, rare) voiceless
  13. (linguistics, Slavic languages) palatalized
  14. (slang) Lacking strength or resolve; not tough, wimpy.
    • 1932, Delos W. Lovelace, King Kong, published 1965, page 31:
      ‘Going soft on me, Jack?’ ‘You know I’m not.’ ‘Then why all the fuss and blow?’
    When it comes to drinking, he is as soft as they come.
  15. (of water) Low in dissolved calcium compounds.
    You won't need as much soap, as the water here is very soft.
  16. (Britain, colloquial) Foolish.
    • (Can we date this quote by Burton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He made soft fellows stark noddies, and such as were foolish quite mad.
  17. (physics) Of a ferromagnetic material; a material that becomes essentially non-magnetic when an external magnetic field is removed, a material with a low magnetic coercivity. (compare hard)
  18. (of a person) Physically or emotionally weak.
  19. Incomplete, or temporary; not a full action.
    The admin imposed a soft block/ban on the user or a soft lock on the article.
  20. (Britain, of a man) Effeminate.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jeremy Taylor and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft, and wandering.
  21. Agreeable to the senses.
    a soft liniment
    soft wines
  22. Not harsh or offensive to the sight; not glaring or jagged; pleasing to the eye.
    soft colours
    the soft outline of the snow-covered hill
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir Thomas Browne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The sun, shining upon the upper part of the clouds [] made the softest lights imaginable.
  23. (photography, of light) Made up of nonparallel rays, tending to wrap around a subject and produce diffuse shadows.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Interjection[edit]

soft

  1. (archaic) Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.

Adverb[edit]

soft (comparative more soft, superlative most soft)

  1. (obsolete) Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly.
    • (Can we date this quote by Edmund Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A knight soft riding toward them.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter II, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0091:
      There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.

Noun[edit]

soft (plural softs)

  1. A soft or foolish person; an idiot.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of George Eliot to this entry?)
  2. (motorsports) Ellipsis of soft tyre (A tyre whose compound is softer than mediums, and harder than supersofts.)

Czech[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English soft(ware).

Noun[edit]

soft m

  1. (colloquial) software, program
    • 18 March 1999, CD-R 74min X 80min, Group cz.comp.ibmpc:
      Zajimalo by mne, zda jsou tyto CD schopna pracovat na plnou kapacitu s normalnimi vypalovackami a beznym softem nebo je na ne potreba mit extra vypalovadlo i soft?
    • 19 March 2009, Zalohovaci SW, Group cz.talk:
      Pokud těch dat máte víc, pak tím TARem stačí zálohovat základ systému a zbytek řešit zálohovacím softem, kterej umí dělit archiv na několik pásek.
    • 2 April 2010, gsm modul / telefon, Group cz.comp.linux:
      ma nekdo nejake zkusenosti s takovym zarizenim ci softem kterym to ovladat?

Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English soft.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

soft m (plural softs)

  1. (sexuality) soft porn
  2. (computing, uncountable) Software.
  3. (computing, countable) A piece of software.

Adjective[edit]

soft (plural softs)

  1. softcore (pornography)

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English soft.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

soft (invariable)

  1. soft (tone etc; temporary (computing))

References[edit]

  1. ^ soft in Luciano Canepari, Dizionario di Pronuncia Italiana (DiPI)

Polish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English soft(ware).

Noun[edit]

soft m inan

  1. (colloquial) software, program