Definition of soft in English:



  • 1Easy to mold, cut, compress, or fold; not hard or firm to the touch.

    ‘soft margarine’
    ‘the ground was soft beneath their feet’
    • ‘All the trees were pine, their fallen needles forming a soft and springy carpet beneath her feet.’
    • ‘This is a cover made from hard or soft plastic that fits over your upper or lower teeth.’
    • ‘The grass was a bright shade of emerald and was soft beneath one's feet or hooves.’
    • ‘Maria scrambled to her feet as the soft sand shifted beneath her.’
    • ‘There are rupas of the body appearing whenever we touch what is hard or soft.’
    • ‘So both hard and soft margarines (the latter to a lesser extent) are like saturated fats.’
    • ‘Twigs and branches snapped and burrowed deeper as their feet trampled the soft soil beneath it.’
    • ‘She laid her head on his chest, soft and yet firm from hard work.’
    • ‘Its visibility may wax or wane, and to the touch it may feel soft, elastic, fibrous or hard.’
    • ‘The soft carpet beneath his feet might as well be molasses, sucking him down, trapping him.’
    • ‘The sand is like a firm sponge; it is soft and hard at the same time.’
    • ‘The procedure is carried out in babies in their first six months when the ear is extremely soft and easy to mould and can be successful within just a fortnight.’
    • ‘It was soft beneath his hard-booted foot, although it only gave a little when he put his full weight on it.’
    • ‘Peaches and apples are separated by whether they are soft, firm or hard.’
    • ‘Feeling the soft grass beneath my feet, I breathed in the night air.’
    • ‘The mud beneath my feet was soft and with every step, I sunk in to my ankle or deeper.’
    • ‘He stood alone in a small, unoccupied steel room; a row of soft cushion and hard plastic chairs lined the far wall.’
    • ‘Different materials behave differently; acrylic plastic is soft and easy to do work with but can melt quickly if you overdo things.’
    • ‘Habit is like a soft bed, easy to get into but hard to get out of!’
    • ‘She hated his kisses because his lips were always cold and soft to the touch, too soft, not firm like Timothy's.’
    swampy, marshy, boggy, miry, fenny, oozy
    mushy, squashy, pulpy, pappy, slushy, sloppy, squelchy, squishy, oozy, doughy, semi-liquid
    supple, elastic, springy, pliable, pliant, squashy, resilient, cushiony, spongy, compressible, flexible, ductile, malleable, tensile, plastic
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    1. 1.1Having a smooth surface or texture that is pleasant to touch; not rough or coarse.
      ‘soft crushed velvet’
      ‘her hair felt very soft’
      • ‘Create suds in a bowl and apply the suds to the leather surface with a soft cloth or sponge.’
      • ‘His lips were soft and silky smooth, and he tasted of cinnamon and cream.’
      • ‘You'll often find boudoir pillows in soft, smooth satin, rich velvet, lace, crochet covers and more.’
      • ‘Bending he lightly touched her hair, soft beneath his fingers, and bent to press a kiss to the corner of her mouth.’
      • ‘It is also non-staining, acts as an insect repellent, and has excellent moisturising properties too-- and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.’
      • ‘They captured the glossy surfaces of fruit and fish, and the soft textures of velvet and lace.’
      • ‘His rough callused hand moved slowly to her soft, smooth arm.’
      • ‘But her oval hands stayed soft, smooth and delicate white.’
      • ‘The hands weren't the gravely and rough kind or soft and furry like all of the monsters that I knew of.’
      • ‘The very mention of ‘silk’ conjures up a soft, smooth and shimmering fabric.’
      • ‘Both the parfait and the white chocolate sauce had a wonderful soft texture, making it feel like I was eating the finest silk.’
      • ‘Kathleen stared down at the pile of clothe that he rested on her stretched out hands; it felt so soft beneath her touch.’
      • ‘And after all that scrubbing the surface is silky soft and touchy-feely right now.’
      • ‘The husband of one of my friends tried this and said it fulfilled its promise of leaving his skin smooth and soft after shaving.’
      • ‘His hands were rough and weathered against her smooth, soft skin, but he was gentle when binding the shoulder wound.’
      • ‘He put his arm around me, and I around him, noting the super soft texture of his suede jacket.’
      • ‘Slip on one of her soft, smooth, silky pieces and you'll immediately realize why they're so popular.’
      • ‘Her skin was lightly tanned and looked as smooth and as soft as velvet.’
      • ‘Derek pulled her into a hug, gently stroking her soft, smooth hair.’
      • ‘Instead of scaly skin, most had smooth, soft, and most of all furry skin.’
      velvety, smooth, cushiony, fleecy, downy, leathery, furry, silky, silken, satiny, suede-effect
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    2. 1.2Rounded; not angular.
      ‘the soft edges of their adobe home’
      • ‘Janssen, though beautiful, has no soft edges - her face is angular, her nose sharp, her amazing figure more sculpted than curved.’
      • ‘One shape should be sharp, angular and synthetic, while the other is soft, rounded and biomorphic.’
      • ‘Her body seemed to blur then reform itself, changing from an angular, inhuman shape to the soft roundness of a human child.’
      • ‘Throughout the house, the original whitewashed walls have soft rounded corners and are offset by pale blue windows and doors.’
      • ‘His features where rounded soft, as if baby fat had never been burnt off his figure.’
      • ‘This particular form of tailoring is tight and tiny, cut with soft, rounded shoulders, open necklines and small waists which are sometimes belted.’
      • ‘We looked at Raphael's use of the tondo format and how he echoed this circular shape in the soft rounded forms of his Madonnas.’
      • ‘Rubbed wood works nicely as does the use of moulding with soft, rounded corners.’
      • ‘Built in the nineteenth century, the building was all soft edges and warm charm.’
  • 2Having a pleasing quality involving a subtle effect or contrast rather than sharp definition.

    ‘the soft glow of the lamps’
    ‘the moon's pale light cast soft shadows’
    • ‘Lucifer stared into Gabriel's eyes; they were a sharp blue, but soft and knowing all at the same time.’
    • ‘Subtle pinks blended with soft oranges, rich creams and the palest off-whites.’
    • ‘The whole place had great big gorgeous windows set in black mahogany, which really did set a nice classic contrast to the soft off-white shade of the walls.’
    • ‘Her blue-green eyes were always soft behind her sharp, hawk-like features.’
    • ‘I'm so pleased with the colour - it has a lovely soft glow that catches your eye as you're going up the stairs.’
    • ‘The lighting is soft and subtle and with the night lights on the table and the backlit stained glass on the window give the place a cosy intimate feel.’
    • ‘Colors appear natural, if somewhat subdued, and contrast seems soft at times.’
    • ‘Layering lighting sources creates a soft, calming effect that is always appreciated.’
    • ‘Her darkened skin stood in contrast to the soft glow of the dress as she slipped on the impractical shoes and made her way out of the door.’
    • ‘The purples are appearing in a soft, subtle vein in all casts from pale lavender to deep aubergine.’
    • ‘The pictures used to have a soft romantic quality to them.’
    • ‘Bitmaps are best suited for photos, drop-shadow effects and soft, glowing or blurry edges.’
    • ‘The image - this one is projected onto a wall - is rather soft.’
    • ‘She looked around her, noticing how the moon gave the stone a soft, blue quality.’
    • ‘Fall Frost Coming, painted in 1966, is a large canvas that features muted trees with soft edges.’
    • ‘She thought a rich auburn in contrast to the soft blue would look good.’
    • ‘I marvel at such early perception of the subtle line, the power of an arc, a soft shadow that glows darkly under the skin.’
    • ‘Contrast is rather soft at times and edge effects are apparent though not distracting.’
    • ‘A diver's suspended body defines the topmost edge of a soft sepia-gray sky.’
    • ‘From his seat on the floor, he could see the church, its steeple glowing, soft and pale and ghostly.’
    dim, low, faint, shaded, subdued, muted, mellow
    pale, pastel, muted, washed out, understated, restrained, subdued, subtle
    blurred, vague, hazy, misty, foggy, veiled, cloudy, clouded, nebulous, fuzzy, blurry, ill-defined, indistinct, unclear, flowing, fluid
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    1. 2.1(of a voice or sound) quiet and gentle.
      ‘they spoke in soft whispers’
      • ‘No response, only a soft laughter and the sound of two voices talking.’
      • ‘The mysterious sounds, the soft voices - I enjoy the silent solitude of the night.’
      • ‘Her eyes snapped open as there was a soft, yet sharp, knock on the door.’
      • ‘Blair's ears pricked at the sound of soft footfalls echoing in the distance.’
      • ‘Soon enough, the soft sound of footsteps gave way to hushed voices.’
      • ‘Where Kumar was flamboyant and loud, Natarajan was subtle, soft.’
      • ‘Tyls was in the room above them, so Alexis could easily sense how nervous he was by the soft pacing that her sharp ears picked up.’
      • ‘About half an hour later we had another quiet dinner, the soft clank of utensils the only sound in the stillness.’
      • ‘He was a big man with a soft voice, the sound of the northlands of Roscommon in his western rural accent.’
      • ‘She sang in soft, smoothing volumes, that did not seem to rise above a roar yet filled the entire room with the sweet essence of her voice.’
      • ‘Violinist then starts to play a rather soft melody - more like a waltzing melody to me.’
      • ‘Her voice was soft and sounded so far away, but as always, it was enough.’
      • ‘He moved out into the hall as her soft voice sounded behind him, even quieter than usual, as if she were talking to only herself.’
      • ‘All she could hear was Dominic's gentle breathing and the soft sound of the snow falling.’
      • ‘Human speech flowed like bubbling liquid from his lips, reassuringly soft with no aggressive edge to it.’
      • ‘It had a soft, lilting quality to it, like somebody whose mother made them practice singing constantly.’
      • ‘The lake was a peaceful sight, with a few reeds along the edge, and the soft hum of cicadas around it.’
      • ‘A gentle hand brushed across her forehead and a soft voice whispered soothingly into her ear.’
      • ‘She takes the ice chips, dropping them into the goblet; the soft clicks sounding like bells.’
      • ‘He followed the sounds of Nina's soft voice into the kitchen and watched her at work.’
      quiet, low, faint, muted, subdued, muffled, hushed, quietened, whispered, stifled, murmured, gentle, dulcet, indistinct, inaudible
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    2. 2.2(of rain, wind, or other natural force) not strong or violent.
      ‘a soft breeze rustled the trees’
      • ‘The day was just too beautiful; the air crisp and fresh, the leaves swaying lightly in the soft breeze ahead.’
      • ‘I awoke to the sound of soft rain drumming the roof, a sound I will no longer hear in a few days…’
      • ‘A soft breeze caressed flowers and leaves, sometimes making the branches shiver.’
      • ‘The breeze was soft and crisp making the air so cold I could feel my fingers cringe.’
      • ‘She smiled and stretched out on her bench, relaxing in the soft breeze.’
      • ‘By the time the corner in the road came into view, there was only a soft drizzle.’
      • ‘Natalie lay on her bed; a soft breeze rustled the fabric curtains and her dirty blonde hair.’
      • ‘The weather was fantastic, velvety warm, with a nice soft breeze.’
      • ‘The school's dark shape suddenly appeared through the mist of soft rain that had begun to fall.’
      • ‘A soft, cold breeze came against my face and the floor creaked as I moved.’
      • ‘There was no wind, and a soft rain fell gently from the unbroken cloud.’
      • ‘She stared at the surroundings and a soft breeze started to blow.’
      • ‘Walking through the woods in Northern Ireland on a clear blue day, Alex smiled at the soft breeze that ruffled his hair.’
      • ‘And, other than that, it's been a quiet Spring day, overcast and with a soft rain on and off throughout.’
      • ‘She was pleased by the soft wind that caressed her bare neck and toyed with her hair.’
      • ‘They stayed like that for what seemed like hours as the rain let up, turning into a soft drizzle.’
      • ‘The wind's temper gradually drifted away until there was nothing left but a soft breeze.’
      • ‘She felt a soft breeze, seeming to pervade her with comfort and love.’
      • ‘He let his eyes wander to the world outside - the dark clouds, the soft rain, soaking everything in its path.’
      • ‘The February sun tugged at the clouds and a soft breeze blew chilly.’
      gentle, light, mild, moderate, calm, balmy, delicate, zephyr-like
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    3. 2.3(of a consonant) pronounced as a fricative (as c in ice)
      • ‘Still the dominant phonetic presence is of light vowels and soft consonants.’
      • ‘G is soft when followed by e, i or y, e.g., in pigeon, magic, and Egypt.’
      • ‘The phonics of it - the hard consonant followed by a long vowel and a soft consonant.’
      • ‘So my conclusion is that as a vocal affectation, Jackson pronounces it with a soft C.’
      • ‘It is clear that the Romans pronounced a hard "k" instead of the soft "ch" abundant in Spanish and contemporary Italian.’
    4. 2.4(of a market, currency, or commodity) falling or likely to fall in value.
      • ‘Companies taking capacity offline is an intelligent reaction in a soft market.’
      • ‘The Namibian currency is expected to remain soft while commodity prices are expected to hold firm against a soft currency and a strong demand.’
      • ‘And it is always the fault of the market or the hedge fund or of soft dollars or of the mutual fund or the limited partnership.’
      • ‘It was simply too easy to run an inefficient operation, as our lack of competitive systems was simply made good by a soft currency.’
      • ‘Burger King has been troubled by soft sales this fall as it engaged in a fierce price war with McDonald's and Wendy's.’
      • ‘During soft markets, insurers tend to undercut prices for competitive reasons.’
      • ‘Thus, the more hard currency transnational corporations can be persuaded to spend in soft-currency countries, the greater the economic impact.’
      • ‘Advertising revenue hasn't been enough, and in a soft ad market, it's only gotten worse.’
      • ‘Pearlman says that a soft market is no excuse to hunker down and wait it out.’
      • ‘Markets started out soft, but at midnight Australian time they took off with a bit of a roar.’
      • ‘It was nothing to do with soft market conditions as he knew.’
      • ‘However, vendors have struggled to increase demand in what is still a soft market.’
      • ‘Developing marketable horses in a soft market can be a challenge.’
      • ‘Many have sat empty for weeks during the prime season, further hurting a soft retail and restaurant market.’
      • ‘Any society which deals in both hard and soft currencies is prone to new divisions and tensions.’
      • ‘And it is a futile exercise for those overseeing markets to say that no one should use soft dollars.’
      • ‘The business lobby is poised to fight to maintain the number, but with the economy soft, it's likely to be an uphill battle.’
      • ‘As the soft market works to sort out supply and demand issues, the U.S. economy remains slightly unstable.’
      • ‘The purest way to gamble on soft commodities is probably a spread bet, but it is high risk because you can lose far more than your original stake.’
      • ‘By this I am indicating that a soft currency may be acceptable for a while - the question is: For how long?’
  • 3Sympathetic, lenient, or compassionate, especially to a degree perceived as excessive; not strict or sufficiently strict.

    ‘the administration is not becoming soft on crime’
    ‘Julia's soft heart was touched by his grief’
    • ‘They have soft hearts and tender souls, but they are not totally naive.’
    • ‘His heart grew soft and heavy as he noticed a small ring on Mackenzie's finger.’
    • ‘However, the thought of Margreet's tragic death would have her soft heart stiffened.’
    • ‘Runako has a soft heart, and he would never, ever do such a thing!’
    • ‘She could be absolutely hilarious and wild, but she also had a soft and kind heart.’
    • ‘The cartoon is Disney's answer to Dreamworks's Shrek, the irreverent story of a green Scottish ogre with a soft heart.’
    • ‘Sassy, brashy, with a tough exterior that belies her soft heart, Scarlett Adams is the kind of role that comes along once in a lifetime.’
    • ‘Vee has a soft heart for strangers, especially ones with artistic talent.’
    • ‘Especially not this woman with caring caramel eyes and a soft heart.’
    • ‘One of Josh's greatest failings had always been that he had such a soft heart.’
    • ‘It's a sweet, soft, very compassionate piece that has a lot of presence and a lot of honesty in it.’
    • ‘Beneath this curmudgeonly exterior lurks the soft heart and even softer head of a hapless romantic.’
    • ‘He seemed to be in his late thirties and his wide smile reflected a soft heart.’
    • ‘If you have a soft heart, be forewarned: The food's so fresh that your lobster will wave goodbye as it heads to the kettle.’
    • ‘Do you think that Arafat's coverage has been, over the years, too soft, too sympathetic by the press?’
    • ‘I always feel bad for people; my mom told me that it was because of my soft heart.’
    • ‘Policemen are not exactly known for their non-conformity or their soft hearts.’
    • ‘The FRA has come up with soft conditions to effect the recovery of loans in order not to inconvenience the farmer.’
    • ‘Fortunately, even the crusty old British Medical Association has a soft heart and recognises that ‘you can't stand in the way of true love’.’
    • ‘Notice how soft, how compassionate and caring Jesus is in dealing with Simon.’
    lenient, easy-going, tolerant, forgiving, forbearing, indulgent, generous, clement, permissive, liberal, lax
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    1. 3.1(of words or language) not harsh or angry; conciliatory; soothing.
      ‘he was no good with soft words, gentle phrases’
      • ‘The soft words made him look down at the bowed head of the man he had come to care so much for.’
      • ‘He approaches the alien with his hands up and with soft words, explains to the alien that he means no harm and welcomes the creature.’
      • ‘The soft words calmed Sabriel completely, and as her breathing became even again she could feel a faint touch of her old confidence.’
      • ‘With one quick glance he can tell when you're at the end of your rope but with his gentle smile and soft caring words he can always help restore your hope.’
      • ‘The soft words sparked something inside of Katherine and she rose heatedly from her chair.’
      • ‘And his soft words, gentle manners and intense feelings win you over.’
      • ‘They react even to disturbing news with a resigned smile and soft words.’
      • ‘He spoke soft words and the girls seemed to relax, giving Abe's men wary glances.’
      • ‘For so she is, this High Priestess of Rennon who came to me, all smiles and soft, tender words, and tried to persuade me to her side.’
      • ‘Although the words were soft, they had a tone to them that threatened the man.’
      • ‘What it tries to indicate is altogether valid, but the word is too soft to do the reality justice.’
      • ‘His soft words comforted me and for awhile we just lay there on the tiny futon talking.’
      • ‘My parents gave me their soft words and thinking it was best they left my room.’
      • ‘The words were soft and tender, and it touched me even more since these were the words I'd been waiting to hear.’
      • ‘His soft words lingered in my ears for longer than was natural.’
      • ‘The words were soft and magical in the air, commanding me to agree with him.’
      • ‘She made her way to the stairs, setting her hand on the railing as she made her way down, soft words reaching her ears.’
      • ‘When she spoke, her words were soft and soothing, and calmed him of his nervousness.’
      • ‘Sir Irwin held him down gently, soothing him with soft words and petting him.’
      • ‘How can he make someone believe that a soft word from him means everything is perfect?’
      kind, gentle, mild, sympathetic, soothing, tender, sensitive, affectionate, loving, warm, warm-hearted, sweet, sentimental, mushy, romantic
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    2. 3.2Not strong or robust.
      ‘soft, out-of-shape executives in a computer company’
      • ‘They faced famine, and they had grown soft from easy living.’
      • ‘People are being raised to be soft and stupid, and I think it is really about slowly wiping out dissidence and uniqueness in the culture, I really do.’
      • ‘And we who have never had to face a world war, we who have got soft, living beyond our means, need to remember them.’
      • ‘Boys were growing soft: too much time with their mothers and their teachers, not enough manly activity.’
      • ‘Health drinks are for soft southerners who don't understand the bitter evils of driving Glaswegian sleet from October till March.’
      • ‘The rep the Spurs have over the years of being a little soft has to fall on the shoulders of Duncan and Robinson.’
      • ‘Relying too heavily on outside sources of strength will just make you soft and weak.’
      • ‘While some sought to show themselves as too soft and weak for battle in order to avoid call-up, others took pride in a fighting heritage.’
      weak, weak-willed, weak-kneed, feeble, spiritless, ineffectual, inadequate, irresolute, indecisive
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    3. 3.3informal (of a job or way of life) requiring little effort.
      • ‘The exceptionally bright and capable young man said that he had led a soft life and wanted to be a marine because ‘they're the toughest and most disciplined in the world.’’
      • ‘The price of enjoying such soft work is that it is sometimes accompanied by considerable verbal abuse from the officers.’
      • ‘I am privileged to have escaped the monotonous toil of endless physical labour and to have experienced a soft life in which I have been able to indulge my passion for history.’
      • ‘Some men think it's a soft job and they are too butch to do it, but it doesn't have to be like that.’
      • ‘The soft life they lead nowadays as constituency members is just unbelievable compared with the good old days.’
    4. 3.4(of news or other journalism) regarded more as entertainment than as basic news.
      ‘fashion is regarded as soft news’
      • ‘Should a critic drop her defences in the face of soft journalism, thumbnail description and popular explanation?’
      • ‘Out of this morass arose tabloid TV and soft news magazines, easy on both the budgets and ratings.’
      • ‘If it could sell the paper at Rs.12, it could afford to pander less to media planners who decide how soft today's journalism should be.’
      • ‘These stories are found in numerous newspaper style sections and in soft magazine features.’
      • ‘As coverage of child care takes priority over coverage of city hall, the distinction between hard news and soft news will blur.’
      • ‘I guess one should not be churlish about soft journalism, it does its bit to spread happiness and light.’
      • ‘And the news itself should be lighter and more digestible: short cycles, interspersed with a lot of soft news.’
      • ‘I prefer now to enjoy entertainment or soft news rather than to pay serious attention to serious issues.’
      • ‘Neither is this to imply that media outlets shouldn't ever run soft science news.’
    5. 3.5Willing to compromise in political matters; moderate.
      ‘candidates ranging from far right to soft left’
      • ‘This story has a disturbing undercurrent that our soft policies allow to happen.’
      • ‘Present your candidate with scenarios that would require the use of soft skills, and see what the candidate says.’
      • ‘After all it's the soft vote that matters during a campaign - the people who could go either way, or no way at all.’
      • ‘Critics say the new government's soft policy towards militants has led to the spate of attacks in the past three days.’
      • ‘The general public of New Zealand contains some who might be soft Tories.’
      • ‘The politics of the Plural Left was soft compromise politics.’
      • ‘It has been part of his strategy to attract soft supporters which the National Front then hopes to turn into hardcore members.’
      • ‘Socialist convictions have become soft or mellow or something worse.’
      • ‘Its public face tended to be dominated by soft Labour left fellow travellers.’
      • ‘During the 1980s it came complete with its own Militant Tendency, soft left and right wing leadership.’
      • ‘So it is a soft amendment, saying that at least the commission should have to consult.’
      • ‘Although the bill looks quite good on the face of it and is a little tougher than the current legislation, that legislation is inherently soft.’
      • ‘Overall, we are in the presence of a preReagan Republican - a soft reactionary, not a feisty revolutionary.’
      • ‘In other respects, Beijing's political influence and soft power abroad are comparably limited.’
      • ‘This Government is too busy doing the photo shoots, doing the soft stuff, and pandering to the unions.’
      • ‘Qualifications obviously help but it is the soft skills that often matter.’
      • ‘It's a soft way of introducing currency controls, which would otherwise be politically unpopular.’
      • ‘He basically felt that the Provisional Government was too soft and that it should go.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, this bill is a bit too soft for us to support.’
    6. 3.6informal Foolish; silly.
      ‘he must be going soft in the head’
      • ‘They think clean air is always more important than cheap housing and treat those who would dare to choose otherwise as soft in the head.’
      • ‘One would have to be soft in the head to vote for someone who is obviously easily manipulated by those around him.’
    7. 3.7informal [predicative]Infatuated with.
      ‘was Brendan soft on her?’
      in love with, infatuated with, besotted with, smitten with, love-struck by, captivated by, charmed by, enchanted by, fascinated by, bewitched by, beguiled by, enthralled by, entranced by, enraptured by, keen on, taken with, head over heels for, under the spell of, consumed with desire for
      View synonyms
  • 4(of a drink) not alcoholic.

    ‘all they had was ginger ale and a few other soft drinks’
    • ‘The expedition is sponsored by Mountain Dew, a soft drink of the beverage company, Pepsi.’
    • ‘Food and drink shops led the boom with sales of ice-cream, beer, chilled soft beverages and barbecues all topping the list.’
    • ‘Lines of business range from clothing, knitted fabric, and leather goods, to food, soft beverages, and liquor.’
    • ‘Or is the problem their high consumption of soft and fizzy bottled drinks?’
    • ‘What has emerged from the present debate is that we have no standards, at least not mandatory ones for soft aerated drinks.’
    1. 4.1(of a drug) not likely to cause addiction.
      • ‘Sure, she'd drink here and there at parties, and she'd dabbled in a few soft drugs, but nothing too bad.’
      • ‘Dealers often lure users of soft drugs into the murks of more dangerous drugs, and get them hooked on these hard drugs from there.’
      • ‘Drugs also come under scrutiny, with a programme assessing the impact of the legalisation of soft drugs in Britain.’
      • ‘Most people acknowledge the big difference between the dangers of soft drugs such as cannabis and the likes of heroine and cocaine.’
      • ‘I know they have talked about legalising soft drugs.’
      • ‘Cannabis is a soft drug, softer than tobacco which 11- to 12-year-olds are getting hold of.’
      • ‘I think it's a soft drug as they say, and shouldn't carry those heavy penalties.’
      • ‘Half a year ago her first boyfriend got jailed for four years, for dealing in soft drugs.’
      • ‘Lampe believes that legalization of drugs, starting with soft drugs, can help.’
      • ‘It is believed by some people that cannabis acts as a bridge from soft drugs to hard drugs, which are dangerous.’
      • ‘The Dutch decision to cease enforcing marijuana laws was a deliberate attempt to separate the hard and soft drug markets.’
      • ‘He had this big bag under the kitchen sink containing what was a form of that soft drug cannabis.’
      • ‘They had started using soft drugs, such as hash, less than a few months ago.’
      • ‘While I was in Oxford doing my Higher Education certificate I came into contact with soft drugs and participated in the taking of them.’
      • ‘Large quantities of soft drugs and hard drugs were found in the car of the eldest brother.’
      • ‘Possession of small quantities of soft drugs (marijuana and hashish) is not prosecuted.’
      • ‘We support gay marriages, decriminalising soft drugs and prostitution, and decentralisation.’
      • ‘Last week the Evening Press revealed that heroin is so widely available in the city that it is now cheaper than cannabis and other soft drugs.’
      • ‘This fragile monster truck of booze and soft drugs eventually careened off the road.’
      • ‘Saturday a poll revealed that a significant number of MPs are in favour of changing the law relating to soft drugs.’
    2. 4.2(of water) free from mineral salts that make lathering difficult.
      • ‘Woollen manufacturers needed cheap, soft water for washing and dyeing; merchants wanted modern docks.’
      • ‘Tea in Scotland tastes better than it does anywhere else in the world because of the soft water.’
      • ‘When you've finished rinse with soft water, which inhibits streaking.’
      • ‘Rainwater is naturally soft and free of minerals, chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals.’
      • ‘Young discus fish should not be kept in very soft water as there aren't the right minerals present for good growth.’
      • ‘By priming the pump and plugging it in, I can use my supply of soft rainwater for many things.’
      • ‘This technique can be used to change hard water into soft water.’
      • ‘Also outside ‘there was a huge rain tub which mum used for her washing and also for our baths, but it was lovely soft rainwater’.’
      • ‘Moving from house to house to house, from area to area, I noticed how hard water and soft water affect the skin on my face.’
      • ‘The dissolved salts in hard water have a similar effect, so soft water is advised.’
      • ‘It is dissolved from the inside of pipes by Scotland's soft, slightly acidic water.’
      • ‘The good weather held, and at noon we stopped by a lake, and poured out all of our water, and filled our barrels with the soft water.’
      • ‘However, providing them with a soft water environment is a critical factor for breeding.’
    3. 4.3(of radiation) having little penetrating power.
      • ‘In diagnostic applications, aluminum filters are used to remove the undesirable portion of soft radiation which would be completely absorbed by the human body.’
      • ‘In two high-altitude rocket flights of thin-walled Geiger tubes at geomagnetic latitudes 64° and 74°N, a considerable intensity of soft radiation has been encountered above 50 kilometers altitude.’
      • ‘Also present is a considerable background of soft radiation, which apparently is also x-radiation of non-solar or terrestrial origin.’
    4. 4.4(of a detergent) biodegradable.
      • ‘The turtle was cleaned with mineral oils and a soft detergent.’
      • ‘With the emphasis being given to the development of biologically soft detergents, it is necessary to establish criteria defining biodegradability of these materials.’
      • ‘They still go on about 'soft detergent', which might mean something to the US market, but, as far as I'm concerned, is still a detergent and will bind to the fabric.’
    5. 4.5(of pornography) suggestive or erotic but not explicit.
      • ‘It never occurs to her that three hours later viewers will be treated to an afternoon of soft-core pornography masquerading as soap opera.’
      • ‘It introduced a premium edition last month, with a monthly charge of $30 to subscribers who will receive exclusive access to a mix of political commentary and soft-core pornography.’
      • ‘This, combined with some soft-core porn, sent what was left of the family contingent screaming back to the suburbs.’
      • ‘Theresa has a real problem with A & F, she calls their catalogs soft-core porn.’
      • ‘Emmanuelle, directed by Just Jaeckin, is the mother of all soft-core films, the movie that finally brought the sexual revolution to the suburbs of North America.’
      • ‘He knows about the women, the clothes, the soft-core porn, the sissified Martinis, etc.’
      • ‘Which is worse: two airhead singers delivering half a second of soft-core porn or a hockey player delivering hard-core revenge that leaves an unmoving body on the ice for 10 minutes?’
      • ‘Hard-core material could be banned as obscene and soft-core magazines could be limited to adults in order to avoid harm to minors.’
      • ‘Under the government's definition, the rules encompass both hard-core and soft-core photos and videos as long as there's sexual activity - even if it's solo.’
      • ‘Let's pretend, though, that old-school soft-core erotica is your thing - there's not a film genre you consider more beloved.’
      • ‘My site is soft-core - just girls posing for the camera.’
      • ‘As Elizabeth Bell points out, the difference between soft-core pornography and hard-core pornography is the difference between simulated and real sex.’
      • ‘I can also tell you that the same is true of the ships - some of it is little more than an excuse for soft-core pornography, some of it is genuinely moving romance.’
      • ‘But if you go to the movie hoping that it's going to be soft-core porn they're going to be disappointed because there's not enough to merit that.’
      • ‘It is interesting to recall that much of the critique of the film, when it was released, centered on the idea that it was thinly-veiled soft-core porn.’
      • ‘Some Girl Scout mothers called it soft-core porn.’
      • ‘The fact that the ad is soft-core porn is not as disturbing as the way that ‘sex’ is presented.’
      • ‘By the beginning of the twenty-first century, every form of sexual exploitation, including soft-core child pornography, had been adapted by advertisers.’
      • ‘But we should appreciate that reality TV, particularly, traffics in and relies upon voyeurism, one-upmanship, humiliation and often soft-core pornography.’
      • ‘Well, it is dark, and there is a screen as tall as a building playing soft-core porn… can you blame them?’


  • 1Softly.

    ‘I can just speak soft and she'll hear me’
    • ‘There's no doubt in my mind that Christina can sing soft and delicately.’
    • ‘They sang as angels soft and gentle and put the audience in the mood for the writers who were to follow.’
    • ‘As he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything' s going to be all right."’
    1. 1.1In a weak or foolish way.
      ‘don't talk soft’
      • ‘Mitch, don't talk soft. The Eye still has by far and away the best exposes of any magazine.’
      • ‘Now then, girl, you're talking soft, as if Donal would risk losing his job.’
      • ‘But then I think straight back, ‘Don't talk soft, she'd never do that’.’


Old English sōfte agreeable, calm, gentle; related to Dutch zacht and German sanft.