An example of soften is rubbing body lotion into dry skin.
- to make or become soft or softer
- to weaken the resistance or opposition of (someone): often with up
Origin of softenMiddle English softnen: see soft and amp; -en
verbsoft·ened, soft·en·ing, soft·ens
- To make soft or softer.
- To undermine or reduce the strength, morale, or resistance of.
- To make less harsh, strident, or critical: softened the last paragraph of the letter.
(third-person singular simple present softens, present participle softening, simple past and past participle softened)
- To make something soft or softer.
- Soften the butter before beating in the sugar.
- To undermine the morale of someone (often soften up).
- Before the invasion, we softened up the enemy with the artillery.
- To make less harsh
- Having second thoughts, I softened my criticism.
- (intransitive) To become soft or softer
- The butter softened as it warmed up.