Definition of soft-shoe in US English:



  • A kind of tap dance performed in soft-soled shoes.

    ‘he could dance a jig or a soft-shoe’
    as modifier ‘a soft-shoe shuffle’
    • ‘Apparently soft-shoe dancers covered the stage in sand, and then three grades of sandpaper were rubbed together to make music.’
    • ‘They make up, however, and perform a duet of ‘Let's Call the Whole Thing Off,’ complete with some soft-shoe moves.’
    • ‘Grinning and overly cooperative, Corran proceeded to bow, make a strange sign over his head, and do a kind of soft-shoe shuffle over to a mat in the corner of the room.’
    • ‘An Andrew Lloyd Weber musical called Bombay Dreams - with all the songs, sparkles, and soft-shoe that are Bollywood's trademarks - is a hit in London's West End and will soon open on Broadway.’
    • ‘The ancient Royal Mile echoed to nothing but the soft-shoe shuffle of an American tourist.’
    • ‘It's this last film that truly paved the way for what ultimately was inevitable for Woody Allen: a full-fledged, old-fashioned musical, with actors singing their hearts out and breaking into impromptu soft-shoes.’
    • ‘The ball fell to Andy van der Meyde at the far post of the German goal, but before he could perform the necessary soft-shoe shuffle that would have enabled him to tee-up a shot, a German defender had closed him down.’
    • ‘He invites his team mates to watch him dance and take his incredible soft-shoe routine to heart.’
    • ‘Roger once won a local dance marathon, staying upright with his soft-shoe partner for over 35 hours.’
    • ‘One-on-one with the goalkeeper, he does a little body-swerve, shows him the eyes, then takes the ball wide with a soft-shoe shuffle and rolls it over the line.’
    • ‘In ‘Timeless to Me,’ Harvey Fierstein and Dick Latessa, playing Tracy's parents, do a nostalgic soft-shoe.’
    • ‘I keep whistling the magnificent Eric Idle soft-shoe number with which Life of Brian draws to a close.’
    • ‘But there are less serious delights as well, like a 1934 program from a school dance recital that features young ‘Mercier Cunningham’ in a soft-shoe duet.’
    • ‘It concludes, for example, with a soft-shoe routine by Spacey and the young actor who plays him as a boy.’
    • ‘Fagan gives the group work a flavor of the vernacular, with disco movement, skittering cakewalk and soft-shoe steps, fast tap-dance turns, and the high lifts and dramatic held poses of exhibition ballroom dance.’
    • ‘There are also a few musical numbers, including Stan and Ollie doing a little soft-shoe to the cowboy stylings of the Avalon Brothers.’
    • ‘The band, which includes two part-timers on guitar and keyboards, has an easy-going soft-shoe pop sound, not unlike much of the Promise Ring's more recent material.’
    • ‘In the second quarter of the Rams' loss to the Giants in Week 1, Warner dropped back, pumped the ball, patted it and practically did a soft-shoe dance before defensive tackle Lance Legree sacked him and forced a fumble.’
    • ‘Sitting in Hirst's west-end Toronto office, they did a Fred-and-Ginger soft-shoe routine talking about the film.’
    • ‘Arthur Murray might disapprove of the weaving steps our children take as they sashay around the sofa or do a soft-shoe on the stairs.’


[no object]
  • 1Perform a soft-shoe dance.

    • ‘Even Toll enjoyed the Danzig number; he amassed his strength and to a shocked audience began to soft-shoe to the music.’
    • ‘On an impromptu stage, two song-and-dance men in Santa hats soft-shoe for their fellow GIs.’
    creep, move stealthily, tiptoe, pad, steal, sneak, nose, sidle, stalk, prowl, slink, skulk, tread warily
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Move quietly and carefully so as not to draw attention to oneself.
      ‘I soft-shoed after him’
      figurative ‘he soft-shoed into a safer topic of conversation’
      • ‘Aren't you soft-shoeing around her these days?’
      • ‘You may be soft-shoeing around situations that could get you into trouble.’



/ˈsɔft ˈʃu/