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soften

Syllabification: soft·en
Pronunciation: /ˈsôfən
 
/

Definition of soften in English:

verb

1Make or become less hard: [with object]: plant extracts to soften and moisturize the skin [no object]: let the vegetables soften over a low heat
More example sentences
  • When the oil is hot, add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • These are products which can prevent drying of the skin, thereby moisturizing and softening the skin.
  • It offers a rich, creamy lather that will invigorate, moisturize and soften your hair.
1.1 [no object] (Of a market, currency, or commodity) fall in value: the share price has softened recently rents have softened in out-of-town locations sales could soften if the economy turns down
More example sentences
  • Many cities with a high proportion of college graduates also have expensive homes, even with the softening real estate market.
  • Owners of gold in any form might consider buying a quantity of short funds to soften the tremendous volatility of gold.
  • Member countries cannot revert to tax cuts or fiscal easing to soften the impact of the strong euro on their big exporters.
2Make or become less severe: [with object]: some Democrats tried to soften the blow by substituting a smaller cut in the property tax rate [no object]: her expression softened at the sight of Diane’s white face
More example sentences
  • Something sharp and dangerous transformed his face, his expression going from that of a parent trying to soften a blow to a dark anger.
  • The combination lets people have it both ways: The foam keeps the cushion upright and helps it hold its shape, while the down makes a comfortable seat and softens the severe line of the foam.
  • Better to wait until bubbles burst and manage the consequences, softening the economic blow by loosening monetary policy very quickly.
Synonyms
die down, abate, subside, moderate, let up, calm, diminish, slacken, weaken
2.1 [with object] Undermine the resistance of (someone): the blockade appears a better weapon with which to soften them up for eventual surrender
More example sentences
  • We're hoping that maybe you can soften him just enough that he will tell us at least something of what we need to know.
  • He has softened him up and now he moves to place his Knight on a better square.
  • You will not soften us up by telling us the problems.
Synonyms
charm, win over, persuade, influence, weaken, disarm, sweeten, butter up, soft-soap
3 [with object] Remove mineral salts from (water).
Example sentences
  • Observations have shown increased copper levels in water softened with ion exchange water softeners.
  • The higher the concentration of these minerals, the more sodium needed to soften the water.
  • The vinegar in this formula will help to remove stains, odors and soften the water.

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