To soften is to make something soft, or to become soft. A stick of butter will soften after sitting on the counter for an hour—or you can soften it by squishing it with a wooden spoon.
You can literally soften things, the way a sculptor softens clay or you soften the skin on your hands with lotion. Turning down the sound is another way to soften something: "I'll soften the radio so it doesn't keep you awake." When you make something gentler or less severe, you also soften it, like when a lawmaker tries to soften the effect of a law by proposing a tax cut in return.
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘soften'.
Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Vocabulary.com or its editors.
Send us feedback
Look up soften for the last time
Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the
words you need to know.