Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈsɒfən/, enPR: sŏf′en
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɔfən/, enPR: sôf′en
- (US, cot–caught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈsɑfən/, enPR: sŏf′en
Audio (US) (file)
- (transitive) To make something soft or softer.
- Soften the butter before beating in the sugar.
- (transitive) To undermine the morale of someone (often soften up).
- Before the invasion, we softened up the enemy with the artillery.
- (transitive) To make less harsh
- Having second thoughts, I softened my criticism.
2015 February 7, Helen Yemm, “Thorny problems: How can I soften a brick wall with plants?”, in The Daily Telegraph (London), page G7:
- I have recently reclad the south-west facing side of my single-storey cottage […] . I now want to plant some climbers of more manageable proportions to soften the building.
- (intransitive) To become soft or softer
- The butter softened as it warmed up.
(transitive) To make something soft or softer
(transitive) To undermine the morale of someone (often soften up)
(transitive) To make less harsh
(intransitive) To become soft or softer