soften Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “soften” in the English Dictionary

"soften" in British English

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softenverb [I or T]

uk   /ˈsɒf.ən/  us   /ˈsɑː.fən/

soften verb [I or T] (LESS HARD)

to ​becomesoft, or to make something ​soft: You can soften the ​butter by ​warming it ​gently. These ​driedapples will soften (up) if you ​soak them in ​water.

soften verb [I or T] (MORE GENTLE)

to ​become more ​gentle or less ​strict, or to make someone do this: The ​news will ​upset him - we must ​think of a way to soften the ​blow (= make the ​news less ​unpleasant for him). Would you say the government's ​stance on ​law and ​order has softened?
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of soften from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"soften" in American English

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 us   /ˈsɔ·fən/

soften verb (BECOME GENTLE)

[I/T] to ​becomegentle, or to make something less ​forceful or ​loud: [T] He made an ​effort to soften his ​tone.

soften verb (WEAKEN)

[T] to make something ​weaker: Congress will move to soften the law’s ​impact.

soften verb (BECOME LESS FIRM)

[I/T] to ​become less hard or ​firm, or to make something less ​firm: [I] The ​butter will soften if you ​leave it out.
(Definition of soften from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"soften" in Business English

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uk   us   /ˈsɒfən/
[I] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET if ​demand, a ​price, a ​market, etc. softens, it ​stopsincreasing or it goes down: Share prices softened with continued worries about the country's ​economicrecovery. Although demand softened again in November, it has ​strengthened in December. When the economy began softening, the ​relatively newer ​factories in the ​suburbs began to ​feelpressure. There are ​signs that ​householdexpenditure is already softening after the ​longestconsumerboom on ​record.soften against sth Sterling may have ​strengthened against the ​dollar but it's softened against the ​euro.
[I or T] to become, or to make something seem, less severe or unpleasant: The regulator's ​stance on water ​mergers has softened. The new ​draft softens the ​rules on the role of the ​senior non-executive ​director. The ​organisation is ​trying to soften its ​image.
(Definition of soften from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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