soften

verb
1 become/make sth softer/gentler
ADVERB
considerably, a lot
a bit, a little, slightly, somewhat

His smile softened slightly.

I've softened somewhat in my advancing age.

PREPOSITION
towards/toward

Her anger softened towards/toward him.

2 make sth seem less severe
ADVERB
slightly, somewhat
VERB + SOFTEN
try to
help (to)
PHRASES
soften the blow (of sth)

I should try to soften the blow of this news.

The bank may try to soften the blow somewhat with a cut in interest rates.

soften into a smile

Her face softened into a smile.

Soften is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑expression, ↑eye, ↑face, ↑tone, ↑voice
Soften is used with these nouns as the object: ↑blow, ↑butter, ↑effect, ↑feature, ↑image, ↑impact, ↑margarine, ↑onion, ↑outline, ↑stance, ↑tone

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • soften up — 1. To lessen resistance in (informal) 2. To wear down by continuous shelling and bombing • • • Main Entry: ↑soft * * * ˌsoften ˈup [transitive] [present tense …   Useful english dictionary

  • Soften — Sof ten, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Softened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Softening}.] To make soft or more soft. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) To render less hard; said of matter. [1913 Webster] Their arrow s point they soften in the flame. Gay. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Søften — is a small Danish town in Jutland, about three kilometers south of Hinnerup and just outside Aarhus. The population of Søften was 2227 at last count (2004).HistoryArchaeologists have found evidence of people living where Søften was later built as …   Wikipedia

  • soften — UK US /ˈsɒfən/ verb ► [I] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET if demand, a price, a market, etc. softens, it stops increasing or it goes down: »Share prices softened with continued worries about the country s economic recovery. »Although demand softened again… …   Financial and business terms

  • soften up — soften (someone/something) up to weaken someone or something. Constant bombing was designed to soften the enemy up and weaken him. The ads were just a way to soften up public opinion to accept a big price increase …   New idioms dictionary

  • soften — ► VERB 1) make or become soft or softer. 2) (often soften up) undermine the resistance of. DERIVATIVES softener noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Soften — Sof ten, v. i. To become soft or softened, or less rude, harsh, severe, or obdurate. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • soften — index allay, alleviate, assuage, commute, ease, extenuate, give (yield), mitigate …   Law dictionary

  • soften — (v.) late 14c., to mitigate, diminish, from SOFT (Cf. soft) (adj.). Meaning to make physically soft is from 1520s; intrans. sense of to become softer is attested from 1610s. Related: Softened; softening …   Etymology dictionary

  • soften — [v] calm, soothe abate, allay, alleviate, appease, assuage, become tender, bend, cushion, diminish, disintegrate, dissolve, ease, enfeeble, give, knead, lessen, lighten, lower, mash, mellow, melt, mitigate, moderate, modify, moisten, mollify,… …   New thesaurus

  • soften — [sôf′ən, säf′ən] vt., vi. [ME softnen: see SOFT & EN] 1. to make or become soft or softer 2. to weaken the resistance or opposition of …   English World dictionary

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