Word forms: softens
1. ergative verb & verb If you soften something or if it softens, it becomes less hard, stiff, or firm. [V n] ⇒ Soften the butter mixture in a small saucepan. [V] ⇒ Fry for about 4 minutes, until the onion has softened. 2. verb If one thing softens the damaging effect of another thing, it makes the effect less severe. [V n] ⇒ There were also pledges to soften the impact of the subsidy cuts on the poorer regions. [V n] ⇒ ...He could not think how to soften the blow of what he had to tell her. 3. ergative verb & verb If you soften your position, if your position softens, or if you soften, you become more sympathetic and less hostile or critical towards someone or something. [V n] ⇒ The letter shows no sign that the Americans have softened their position. [V] ⇒ His party's policy has softened a lot in recent years. [V] ⇒ Livy felt herself soften towards Caroline. 4. ergative verb & verb If your voice or expression softens or if you soften it, it becomes much more gentle and friendly. [V] ⇒ All at once, Mick's serious expression softened into a grin. [V n] ⇒ She did not smile or soften her voice. 5. verb If you soften something such as light, a colour, or a sound, you make it less bright or harsh. [V n] ⇒ We wanted to soften the light without destroying the overall effect of space. [V n] ⇒ Stark concrete walls have been softened by a show of fresh flowers. 6. verb Something that softens your skin makes it very smooth and pleasant to touch. [V n] ⇒ ...products designed to moisturize and soften the skin.
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