soft

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See also: -soft

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English softe, from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte (soft), from Proto-West Germanic *samftī (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
  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
  6. Gentle in action or motion; easy.
  7. Weak in character; impressible.
    • 1665, Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica
      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.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Essential Anatomy of Melancholy
      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 ban on the user.
  20. (Britain, of a man) Effeminate.
    • 1650, Jeremy Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living
      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
    • 1673, Edward Browne, A Brief Account of some Travels in Hungaria, Styria, Bulgaria, Thessaly, Austria, Serbia, Carynthia, Carniola, and Friuli
      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.
  24. (computing) Emulated with software; not physically real.
    Press the red button on the soft phone to hang up.
  25. (of a drug) Not likely to cause addiction.

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.

Noun[edit]

soft (plural softs)

  1. A soft or foolish person; an idiot.
    • 1859, George Eliot, Adam Bede Part I, Chapter 9
      It'll do you no good to sit in a spring-cart o' your own, if you've got a soft to drive you: he'll soon turn you over into the ditch.
  2. (motorsports) Ellipsis of soft tyre (A tyre whose compound is softer than mediums, and harder than supersofts.)
  3. (colloquial) A soft sound or part of a sound.
    • 2012, Sam McGuire, Paul Lee, The Video Editor's Guide to Soundtrack Pro (page 103)
      The expander doesn't really make the louds louder and the softs softer in one step []

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]

  • soft in Kartotéka Novočeského lexikálního archivu
  • soft in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989

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