soft

Soft things are fluffy or yielding to the touch. A kitten's fur and your favorite fleece pajama pants are soft. So is spreadable cheese or the spongy ground of a wet field.

A soft voice is gentle, and a soft light or color is subdued or muted. A table with soft edges is rounded instead of sharp-cornered. Soft rain is mild. No matter how the adjective soft is used, it's always the opposite of words like hard, loud, bright or stubborn. It comes from a Germanic root that means "level, even, smooth, or gentle."

Definitions of soft
  1. adjective
    yielding readily to pressure or weight
    Synonyms:
    brushed, fleecy, napped
    (of fabrics) having soft nap produced by brushing
    cheeselike
    having the consistency of cheese
    compressible, squeezable
    capable of being easily compressed
    cottony
    resembling cotton; as soft as cotton
    cushioned, cushiony, padded
    softened by the addition of cushions or padding
    demulcent, emollient, salving, softening
    having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin
    downlike, downy, flossy, fluffy
    like down or as soft as down
    flaccid
    drooping without elasticity; wanting in stiffness
    flocculent, woolly, wooly
    having a fluffy character or appearance
    yielding
    lacking stiffness and giving way to pressure
    mushy
    having the consistency of mush
    overstuffed
    upholstered thickly and deeply
    semisoft, softish
    somewhat soft
    spongelike, spongy, squashy, squishy
    easily squashed; resembling a sponge in having soft porous texture and compressibility
    velvet, velvety
    resembling velvet in having a smooth soft surface
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    Antonyms:
    hard
    resisting weight or pressure
    adamantine
    having the hardness of a diamond
    al dente
    cooked so as to be firm when eaten
    corneous, hornlike, horny
    made of horn (or of a substance resembling horn)
    firm, solid
    not soft or yielding to pressure
    granitelike, granitic, rocklike, stony
    hard as granite
    hardened, set
    converted to solid form (as concrete)
    woody
    made hard like wood as the result of the deposition of lignin in the cell walls
    petrous, stonelike
    (of bone especially the temporal bone) resembling stone in hardness
    semihard
    somewhat hard
    steely
    resembling steel in hardness
    unyielding
    resistant to physical force or pressure
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  2. adjective
    having little impact
    “a soft (or light) tapping at the window”
    synonyms: easy, gentle
    light
    of little intensity or power or force
  3. adjective
    not burdensome or demanding; borne or done easily and without hardship
    “a soft job”
    synonyms: cushy, easygoing
    easy
    posing no difficulty; requiring little effort
  4. adjective
    out of condition; not strong or robust; incapable of exertion or endurance
    “he was too soft for the army”
    synonyms: flabby, flaccid
    unfit
    not in good physical or mental condition; out of condition
  5. adjective
    easily hurt
    soft hands”
    synonyms: delicate
    tender, untoughened
    physically untoughened
  6. adjective
    not protected against attack (especially by nuclear weapons)
    soft targets”
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    Antonyms:
    hardened
    protected against attack (especially by nuclear weapons)
  7. adverb
    in a relaxed manner; or without hardship
    synonyms: easy
  8. adjective
    compassionate and kind; conciliatory
    “he was soft on his children”
    Synonyms:
    mellow
    having attained to kindliness or gentleness through age and experience
    tender
    given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality
    warmhearted
    marked by warmth of feeling like kindness and sympathy and generosity
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    Antonyms:
    hard
    dispassionate
    difficult, hard
    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
    calculating, calculative, conniving, scheming, shrewd
    acting in a selfish scheming way
    case-hardened, hard-boiled, hardened
    used of persons; emotionally hardened
    steely
    resembling steel as in hardness
    merciless, unmerciful
    having or showing no mercy
    insensitive
    deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive
    tough
    not given to gentleness or sentimentality
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  9. adjective
    willing to negotiate and compromise
    Synonyms:
    conciliative, conciliatory
    intended to placate
  10. adjective
    tolerant or lenient
    “too soft on the children”
    “they are soft on crime”
    synonyms: indulgent, lenient
    permissive
    granting or inclined or able to grant permission; not strict in discipline
  11. adjective
    soft and mild; not harsh or stern or severe
    synonyms: gentle
    mild
    moderate in type or degree or effect or force; far from extreme
  12. adjective
    mild and pleasant
    “a soft breeze”
    synonyms: balmy, mild
    clement
    (of weather or climate) physically mild
  13. adjective
    (of sound) relatively low in volume
    soft voices”
    soft music”
    Synonyms:
    dull, muffled, muted, softened
    being or made softer or less loud or clear
    euphonious
    (of speech or dialect) pleasing in sound; not harsh or strident
    gentle
    quiet and soothing
    hushed, muted, quiet, subdued
    in a softened tone
    little, small
    (of a voice) faint
    low, low-toned
    very low in volume
    murmuring, susurrant, whispering
    making a low continuous indistinct sound
    murmurous, rustling, soughing, susurrous
    characterized by soft sounds
    soft-footed
    sound of quiet gentle steps
    soft-spoken
    having a speaking manner that is not loud or harsh
    quiet
    free of noise or uproar; or making little if any sound
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    Antonyms:
    loud
    characterized by or producing sound of great volume or intensity
    audible, hearable
    heard or perceptible by the ear
    big
    loud and firm
    blaring, blasting
    unpleasantly loud and penetrating
    clarion
    loud and clear
    deafening, earsplitting, thunderous, thundery
    loud enough to cause (temporary) hearing loss
    earthshaking
    loud enough to shake the very earth
    harsh-voiced
    having an unusually harsh sound
    loud-mouthed
    given to loud offensive talk
    loud-voiced
    having an unusually loud voice
    shattering
    seemingly loud enough to break something; violently rattling or clattering
    shouted, yelled
    in a vehement outcry
    trumpet-like
    resembling the sound of a trumpet
    vocal
    full of the sound of voices
    noisy
    full of or characterized by loud and nonmusical sounds
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  14. adjective
    used chiefly as a direction or description in music
    synonyms: piano
    pianissimo
    chiefly a direction or description in music; very soft
    pianissimo assai
    chiefly a direction or description in music; very soft
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    Antonyms:
    forte, loud
    used chiefly as a direction or description in music
    fortemente
    chiefly a direction or description in music; loud and strong
    fortissimo
    chiefly a direction or description in music
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  15. adjective
    (of light) transmitted from a broad light source or reflected
    synonyms: diffuse, diffused
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    Antonyms:
    concentrated, hard
    (of light) transmitted directly from a pointed light source
  16. adjective
    not brilliant or glaring
    “the moon cast soft shadows”
    soft pastel colors”
    synonyms: subdued
    dull
    emitting or reflecting very little light
  17. adjective
    produced with vibration of the vocal cords
    synonyms: sonant, voiced
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    Antonyms:
    hard, surd, unvoiced, voiceless
    produced without vibration of the vocal cords
    whispered
    spoken in soft hushed tones without vibrations of the vocal cords
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  18. adjective
    (of speech sounds); produced with the back of the tongue raised toward the hard palate; characterized by a hissing or hushing sound (as `s' and `sh')
    Synonyms:
    continuant, fricative, sibilant, spirant, strident
    of speech sounds produced by forcing air through a constricted passage (as `f', `s', `z', or `th' in both `thin' and `then')
    palatal, palatalised, palatalized
    produced with the front of the tongue near or touching the hard palate (as `y') or with the blade of the tongue near the hard palate (as `ch' in `chin' or `j' in `gin')
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    Antonyms:
    hard
    (of speech sounds); produced with the back of the tongue raised toward or touching the velum
    velar
    produced with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate (as `k' in `cat' and `g' in `gun' and `ng' in `sing')
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  19. adjective
    (of a commodity or market or currency) falling or likely to fall in value
    “the market for computers is soft
    Synonyms:
    falling
    becoming lower or less in degree or value
  20. adjective
    using evidence not readily amenable to experimental verification or refutation
    soft data”
    “the soft sciences”
    Synonyms:
    qualitative
    involving distinctions based on qualities
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