soften up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theysoften up
he/she/itsoftens up
present participlesoftening up
past tensesoftened up
past participlesoftened up
  1. to make someone more likely to do what you want by being nice to them

    His strategy was to soften them up with compliments.

See also main entry: soften