Meaning of “soften” in the English Dictionary

(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 become gentle, 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 /ˈsɒfən/ us

[ 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 in November, it has strengthened in December.
When the economy began softening, the relatively newer factories in the suburbs began to feel pressure.
There are signs that household expenditure is already softening after the longest consumer boom 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)