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See also: -soft





From Middle English softe (soft, easy, gentle, yielding), from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte (soft, gentle, easy, comfortable), from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz (level, even, smooth, soft, gentle) (compare *sōmiz (agreeable, fitting)), from Proto-Indo-European *semptio-, *semtio-, from *sem- (one, whole). Cognate with West Frisian sêft (gentle; soft), Dutch zacht (soft), German Low German sacht (soft), German sanft (soft, yielding), Old Norse sœmr (agreeable, fitting), samr (same). More at seem, same.


soft (comparative softer, superlative softest)

  1. Easily giving way under pressure.
    My head sank easily into the soft pillow.
  2. (of cloth or similar material) Smooth and flexible; not rough, rugged, or harsh.
    Polish the silver with a soft cloth to avoid scratching.
    soft silk; a soft skin
    • Bible, Matt. xi. 8
      They that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
  3. (of a sound) Quiet.
    I could hear the soft rustle of the leaves in the trees.
    • Shakespeare
      Her voice was ever soft, / Gentle, and low, — an excellent thing in woman.
  4. Gentle.
    There was a soft breeze blowing.
    • William Shakespeare
      I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's; / Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine.
    • Tyndale
      The meek or soft shall inherit the earth.
  5. Expressing gentleness or tenderness; mild; conciliatory; courteous; kind.
    soft eyes
    • Bible, Proverbs xv. 1
      A soft answer turneth away wrath.
    • William Wordsworth
      A face with gladness overspread, / Soft smiles, by human kindness bred.
  6. Gentle in action or motion; easy.
    • John Milton
      On her soft axle, white she paces even, / And bears thee soft with the smooth air along.
  7. Weak in character; impressible.
    • Glanvill
      The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's.
  8. Requiring little or no effort; easy.
    • 1892, Robert Louis Stevenson, The Beach of Falesá
      Before that they had been a good deal on the move, trekking about after the white man, who was one of those rolling stones that keep going round after a soft job.
  9. Not bright or intense.
    soft lighting
  10. Having a slight angle from straight.
    At the intersection with two roads going left, take the soft left.
    It's important to dance on soft knees to avoid injury.
  11. (linguistics) Voiced; sonant.
  12. (linguistics, rare) voiceless
  13. (linguistics, Slavic languages) palatalized
  14. (slang) Lacking strength or resolve, wimpy.
    When it comes to drinking, he is as soft as they come.
  15. (of water) Low in dissolved calcium compounds.
    You won't need as much soap, as the water here is very soft.
  16. (Britain, colloquial) Foolish.
    • Burton
      He made soft fellows stark noddies, and such as were foolish quite mad.
  17. (physics) Of a ferromagnetic material; a material that becomes essentially non magnetic when an external magnetic field is removed, a material with a low magnetic coercivity. (compare hard)
  18. (of a person) Physically or emotionally weak.
  19. Incomplete, or temporary; not a full action.
    The admin imposed a soft block/ban on the user or a soft lock on the article.
  20. (Britain, of a man) Effeminate.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft, and wandering.
  21. Agreeable to the senses.
    a soft liniment
    soft wines
    • Milton
      the soft, delicious air
  22. Not harsh or offensive to the sight; not glaring or jagged; pleasing to the eye.
    soft colours
    the soft outline of the snow-covered hill
    • Sir Thomas Browne
      The sun, shining upon the upper part of the clouds [] made the softest lights imaginable.



Derived termsEdit


See alsoEdit



  1. (archaic) Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.
    • Shakespeare
      Soft, you; a word or two before you go.
      But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?


soft (comparative more soft, superlative most soft)

  1. (obsolete) Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
      A knight soft riding toward them.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter II:
      There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.


soft (plural softs)

  1. A soft or foolish person; an idiot.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of George Eliot to this entry?)


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: field · street · attempt · #830: soft · officers · likely · beneath



Borrowing from English soft(ware).


soft m

  1. (colloquial) software, program
    • 18 March 1999, CD-R 74min X 80min, Group cz.comp.ibmpc:
      Zajimalo by mne, zda jsou tyto CD schopna pracovat na plnou kapacitu s normalnimi vypalovackami a beznym softem nebo je na ne potreba mit extra vypalovadlo i soft?
    • 19 March 2009, Zalohovaci SW, Group
      Pokud těch dat máte víc, pak tím TARem stačí zálohovat základ systému a zbytek řešit zálohovacím softem, kterej umí dělit archiv na několik pásek.
    • 2 April 2010, gsm modul / telefon, Group cz.comp.linux:
      ma nekdo nejake zkusenosti s takovym zarizenim ci softem kterym to ovladat?


Further readingEdit

  • soft in Kartotéka Novočeského lexikálního archivu
  • soft in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989



Borrowing from English soft.


soft m (plural softs)

  1. (sexuality) soft porn
  2. (computing, uncountable) Software.
  3. (computing, countable) A piece of software.


soft (plural softs)

  1. softcore (pornography)



Borrowing from English soft.


soft (invariable)

  1. soft (tone etc; temporary (computing))