Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

soft - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     soft pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a soft substance is easy to press or shape and is not hard or firm

    George tripped, falling into the soft mud.

    soft cheese

    1. a.
      a soft material or surface is one that is pleasant to touch and not rough or stiff

      I want to get a nice soft carpet for the bedroom.

      Her skin felt soft to his touch.

      There was nothing soft to cushion the fall.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [usually before noun] a soft sound is quiet and pleasant to listen to

    A tape played some soft Neapolitan music.

    The engine noise was no more than a soft hum.

  3. 4
    kind and sympathetic to other people

    He must have a soft heart beneath that stern exterior.

    1. a.
      soft words, looks, or actions are gentle and not severe or angry

      Her soft words did not get a soft reply.

      She stared up at him, a soft smile on her face.

    2. b.
      not strict enough with other people and allowing them to do things that they should not do

      You’re too soft – I wouldn’t let them behave like that.

      soft on:

      They accused the minister of being soft on crime.

  4. 5
    informal not complicated, or not needing a lot of effort

    After losing a couple of soft games, any win was essential.

  5. 6
    soft water does not contain many natural minerals and is easy to use with soap

derived word


     softly pronunciation in British English
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play