Did you know?

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

soften - definition and synonyms

 
Close

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.

Close

ThesaurusThesaurus

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.

more
verb     soften pronunciation in British English
/ˈsɒf(ə)n/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theysoften
he/she/itsoftens
present participlesoftening
past tensesoftened
past participlesoftened
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to become softer, or to make something softer

    Simmer gently until the apple has softened.

    If the mixture is too hard you will need to soften it.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to become kinder and less severe, or to make someone or something do this

    When Jack spoke to the children his voice softened.

    She seems to have softened her attitude to him.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to make something look more pleasant by making its colour or shape less strong

phrasal verbs

BuzzWord

mic drop

the action of deliberately dropping your microphone at the end of a speech or performance to show you think it was so good that nothing better could follow it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

rhythmus

moving with rhythm, together as one

add a word

Blog

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