Definition of softly-softly in English:



  • attributive Cautious and patient.

    ‘he urged the president to use a softly-softly approach to the crisis’
    • ‘‘We have taken the softly-softly approach several times, and 90% of the time it works,’ she says.’
    • ‘Bolton manager Sam Allardyce will take the softly-softly approach to try to put his rocky relegation strugglers back on track.’
    • ‘A new series of priorities has been drawn up, and top of the bill is the serving of enforcement notices to counter the softly-softly approach, chasing up overdue prosecutions on people who refuse to comply.’
    • ‘In Monte Carlo, for example, there has been a noticeable rise in the number of drivers of cheaper cars being stopped and asked to provide their papers by hitherto softly-softly local police.’
    • ‘There's the brutal, honest approach - ‘We have nothing in common any more, and frankly your laugh has always annoyed me’ - or the softly-softly approach.’
    • ‘Certainly, orchestras have swooned under his so-called softly-softly approach; he apparently never raised his voice during his half century of conducting.’
    • ‘We have urged the government to act, but she has told us that the softly-softly approach was the right policy.’
    • ‘Town councillors and council staff in Marlborough are to take a softly-softly approach on the sensitive subject of wobbly gravestones.’
    • ‘The planning area generally, says Young, is one that requires a blend of ‘consultation and the softly-softly approach’ to make sure that building projects are not delayed or scuppered completely.’
    • ‘Fingleton has defended the lack of prosecutions and intimates the softly-softly approach will continue apace with the advocacy of regulatory reform.’
    • ‘Essex Police today warned motorists in Tendring that the softly-softly approach to people using mobiles while behind the wheel is at an end.’
    • ‘When the softly-softly approach was unsuccessful, my husband decided to go in the pen behind them, and try to urge them out with a gentle push.’
    • ‘So it has gone for the softly-softly approach of small and gradual rate rises.’
    • ‘It is blatantly obvious that all too often command teams at unit level adopt a stance of softly-softly and leave the hard decisions to some poor individual thousands of kilometres away.’
    • ‘Although a nation-wide ban on using hand-held phones while at the wheel came into force last December, Wiltshire Constabulary maintained a softly-softly approach during the first couple of months.’
    • ‘Employers' inability to manage growing mental ill-health in their workforces is matched by general practitioners' softly-softly approach to the problem.’
    • ‘Professor Miles prefers to take a softly-softly approach and will talk to Financial Services Authority and the Office of Fair Trading about which steps to be taken to improve the functioning of the market.’
    • ‘It remains to be seen whether McConnell's softly-softly approach will hinder his efforts to reform public services by being too closely aligned to vested interests.’
    • ‘If yesterday I spoke to someone softly-softly and he did not understand, then next day I have to be strict and implacable.’
    • ‘The Boss tries the softly-softly approach at first so as to lull me into a false sense of security - not knowing that all calls originating in the sixth floor and terminating at his office are automatically flagged for my attention.’
    cautious, circumspect, discreet, gentle, gradual, calm, restrained, patient, tactful, diplomatic
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