soften

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.

Definitions of soften
1

v make soft or softer

“This liquid will soften your laundry”
Antonyms:
harden, indurate
make hard or harder
harden, indurate
become hard or harder
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Types:
mellow
soften, make mellow
mollify
make less rigid or softer
macerate
soften, usually by steeping in liquid, and cause to disintegrate as a result
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v become soft or softer

“The bread will soften if you pour some liquid on it”
Antonyms:
harden, indurate
become hard or harder
harden, indurate
make hard or harder
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Types:
mellow
make or grow (more) mellow
macerate
become soft or separate and disintegrate as a result of excessive soaking
Type of:
change
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v make (images or sounds) soft or softer

Antonyms:
sharpen
make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper
Types:
damp, dampen, dull, muffle, mute, tone down
deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping
Type of:
change intensity
increase or decrease in intensity

v lessen in force or effect

soften a shock”
Synonyms:
break, damp, dampen, weaken
Types:
deafen
make soundproof
damp, dampen, deaden
make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible
Type of:
blunt, deaden
make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation

v protect from impact

Synonyms:
buffer, cushion
Type of:
modify
make less severe or harsh or extreme

v make less severe or harsh

Synonyms:
mince, moderate
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v give in, as to influence or pressure

Synonyms:
relent, yield
Antonyms:
remain firm, stand
hold one's ground; maintain a position; be steadfast or upright
fend, resist, stand
withstand the force of something
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Types:
truckle
yield to out of weakness

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