softly

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English softely, softeliche, equivalent to soft +‎ -ly.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

softly (comparative softlier or more softly, superlative softliest or most softly)

  1. In a soft manner; gently.
    The masseuse was rubbing my back too softly for my liking, so I asked her to go harder.
    • 1861, Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage
      He had married a lady well educated and softly nurtured, but not dowered with worldly wealth. [] They would give up ideas of gentle living, of soft raiment, and delicate feeding.
  2. Not loudly; nearly inaudibly.
    whisper softly in someone's ear
    play music softly

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]