1easy to mold, cut, compress, or fold; not hard or firm to the touch:soft margarinethe ground was soft beneath their feet
having a smooth surface or texture that is pleasant to touch; not rough or coarse:soft crushed velvether hair felt very soft
rounded; not angular:the soft edges of their adobe home
2having a pleasing quality involving a subtle effect or contrast rather than sharp definition:the soft glow of the lampsthe moon’s pale light cast soft shadows
(of a voice or sound) quiet and gentle:they spoke in soft whispers
(of rain, wind, or other natural force) not strong or violent:a soft breeze rustled the trees
(of a consonant) pronounced as a fricative (as c in ice).
(of a market, currency, or commodity) falling or likely to fall in value.
3sympathetic, lenient, or compassionate, especially to a degree perceived as excessive; not strict or sufficiently strict:the administration is not becoming soft on crimeJulia’s soft heart was touched by his grief
(of words or language) not harsh or angry; conciliatory; soothing:he was no good with soft words, gentle phrases
not strong or robust:soft, out-of-shape executives in a computer company
informal (of a job or way of life) requiring little effort.
(of news or other journalism) regarded more as entertainment than as basic news:fashion is regarded as soft news
willing to compromise in political matters; moderate:candidates ranging from far right to soft left
informal foolish; silly:he must be going soft in the head
[predic.] (soft on) informal infatuated with:was Brendan soft on her?
4(of a drink) not alcoholic:all they had was ginger ale and a few other soft drinks
(of a drug) not likely to cause addiction.
(of water) free from mineral salts that make lathering difficult.
(of radiation) having little penetrating power.
(of a detergent) biodegradable.
(also soft-core) (of pornography) suggestive or erotic but not explicit.
softly:I can just speak soft and she’ll hear me
in a weak or foolish way:don’t talk soft
have a soft spot for
be fond of or affectionate toward.
an easier alternative:probation should in no sense be seen as a soft option by the judiciary
(also easy touch) informal a person who readily gives or does something if asked.
Old Englishsōfte 'agreeable, calm, gentle'; related to Dutch zacht and German sanft