What does soften mean?

Definitions for soften
ˈsɔ fən, ˈsɒf ənsoft·en

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word soften.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. softenverb

    make (images or sounds) soft or softer

  2. dampen, damp, soften, weaken, breakverb

    lessen in force or effect

    "soften a shock"; "break a fall"

  3. yield, relent, softenverb

    give in, as to influence or pressure

  4. cushion, buffer, softenverb

    protect from impact

    "cushion the blow"

  5. mince, soften, moderateverb

    make less severe or harsh

    "He moderated his tone when the students burst out in tears"

  6. softenverb

    make soft or softer

    "This liquid will soften your laundry"

  7. softenverb

    become soft or softer

    "The bread will soften if you pour some liquid on it"


  1. softenverb

    To make something soft or softer.

    Soften the butter before beating in the sugar.

  2. softenverb

    To undermine the morale of someone (often soften up).

    Before the invasion, we softened up the enemy with the artillery.

  3. softenverb

    To make less harsh

    Having second thoughts, I softened my criticism.

  4. softenverb

    To become soft or softer

    The butter softened as it warmed up.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Softenverb

    Etymology: from soft.

    Bodies, into which the water will enter, long seething will rather soften than indurate. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Their arrow’s point they soften in the flame,
    And sounding hammers break its barbed frame. John Gay.

    I will soften stony hearts. John Milton.

    Our friends see not our faults, or conceal them, or soften them by their representation. Addison.

    I would correct the harsh expressions of one party, by softening and reconciling methods. Isaac Watts.

    Call round her tomb each object of desire,
    Bid her be all that chears or softens life,
    The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife. Alexander Pope.

    Musick the fiercest griefs can charm;
    Musick can soften pain to ease,
    And make despair and madness please. Alexander Pope.

    He bore his great commission in his look,
    But sweetly temper’d awe, and soften’d all he spoke. Dryd.

  2. To Softenverb

    Many bodies, that will hardly melt, will soften; as iron in
    The forge. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    He may soften at the sight of the child;
    The silence often of pure innocence
    Persuades, when speaking fails. William Shakespeare.


  1. soften

    Søften (alternative spellings include Suten–1386, Suchten–1399, and Søwten–1489) is a small Danish town in Jutland, roughly three kilometers south of Hinnerup and just northwest of Aarhus. Søften has a population of 3,072 (1 January 2022). Archaeological surveys of the area indicate the earliest settlements dates to the Nordic Iron Age.


  1. soften

    To lessen the intensity, severity, or harshness of something; or to make something softer or less rigid, often through heat, moisture, or other treatments. It can also refer to becoming more compassionate, gentle or sympathetic.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Softenverb

    to make soft or more soft

  2. Softenverb

    to render less hard; -- said of matter

  3. Softenverb

    to mollify; to make less fierce or intractable

  4. Softenverb

    to palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault

  5. Softenverb

    to compose; to mitigate; to assuage

  6. Softenverb

    to make less harsh, less rude, less offensive, or less violent, or to render of an opposite quality

  7. Softenverb

    to make less glaring; to tone down; as, to soften the coloring of a picture

  8. Softenverb

    to make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; as, troops softened by luxury

  9. Softenverb

    to make less harsh or grating, or of a quality the opposite; as, to soften the voice

  10. Softenverb

    to become soft or softened, or less rude, harsh, severe, or obdurate

How to pronounce soften?

How to say soften in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of soften in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of soften in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of soften in a Sentence

  1. William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, Act 1 Scene 1:

    Music has charms to soothe the savage breast To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

  2. William Congreve:

    Music has charms to soothe the savage breast To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

  3. Barbara Paley:

    In all things preserve integrity; and the consciousness of thine own uprightness will alleviate the toil of business, soften the hardness of ill-success and disappointments, and give thee an humble confidence before God, when the ingratitude of man, or the iniquity of the times may rob thee of other rewards.

  4. Joel Batzofin:

    There are women that produce mucus of a thick viscus quality, and it sticks and lodges in there. The fallopian tube at the uterine end is very narrow and it gets blocked in there, so it’s quite easy to imagine that a course of physical therapy is going to soften this up, dislodge it and clear Clear Passage.

  5. Michael Green:

    While that does soften the blow of the rising prices you can see how consumers, looking at how crude prices are dropping, feel frustrated at the higher prices for gasoline.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for soften

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • blødgøre, blødgøresDanish
  • ablandar, ablandarse, suavizarSpanish
  • adoucirFrench
  • deshardeskarIdo
  • ammorbidire, rendere malleabile, ammorbidirsi, rendere arrendevole, addolcireItalian
  • mollisLatin
  • verzachtenDutch
  • bløtgjøreNorwegian
  • suavizar, amolecerPortuguese
  • muia, înmuiaRomanian
  • размягчиться, размягчать, смягчать, смягчить, размягчаться, смягчаться, размягчить, смягчитьсяRussian
  • zbutAlbanian
  • mjuknaSwedish
  • lumambotTagalog

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"soften." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/soften>.

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    a meter that shows mileage traversed
    • A. odometer
    • B. vehicle
    • C. purse
    • D. accessory

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