Dictionary: SO'DI-UM – SOFT'NESS

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SO'DI-UM, n.

The metallic base of soda. It is soft, sectile, white and opake, and very malleable. It is lighter than water. – Davy.


  1. An inhabitant of Sodom.
  2. One guilty of sodomy.

SOD'OM-Y, n.

A crime against nature.

SOE, n. [Scot. sae; perhaps sea.]

A large wooden vessel for holding water; a cowl. [Local.] – More.

SO-EV'ER, adv. [so and ever, found in compounds, as in whosoever, whatsoever, wheresoever. See these words. It is sometimes used separate from the pronoun; as, in what things soever you undertake, use diligence and fidelity.]

SO'FA, n. [probably an Oriental word. Qu. Sw. söfva, to lull to sleep.]

An elegant long seat, usually with a stuffed bottom. Sofas are variously made. In the United States, the frame is of mahogany, and the bottom formed of stuffed cloth with a covering of silk, chintz, calico or hair-cloth; sometimes on springs. The sofa of the Orientals is a kind of alcove raised half a foot above the floor, where visitors of distinction are received. It is also a seat by the side of the room covered with a carpet.


A small sofa.

SOF'FIT, n. [It. soffitta.]

  1. In architecture, any timber ceiling formed of cross beams, the compartments of which are enriched with sculpture, painting or gilding.
  2. The under side or face of an architrave, enriched with compartments of roses. – Encyc.

SO'FI, or SO'PHI, n.

In Persia, a religious person; a dervish.


The mystical doctrines of the Mohammedan priests or Sofis.

SOFT, a. [Sax. softe, softa. The D. has zagt, Sw. sackta, D. sagte, and the G. sanft, in a like sense, but whether allied to soft, may be questioned.]

  1. Easily yielding to pressure; the contrary of hard, as, a soft bed; a soft peach; soft earth.
  2. Not hard; easily separated by an edged instrument; as, soft wood. The chestnut is a soft wood, but more durable than hickory, which is a very hard wood. So we say, a soft stone, when it breaks or is hewed with ease.
  3. Easily worked; malleable; as, soft iron.
  4. Not rough, rugged or harsh; smooth to the touch; delicate; as, soft silk; soft raiment; a soft skin.
  5. Delicate; feminine; as, the softer sex.
  6. Easily yielding to persuasion or motives; flexible; susceptible of influence or passion. In both these senses, soft is applied to females, and sometimes to males; as, a divine of a soft and servile temper. – K. Charles. One king is too soft and easy. – L'Estrange.
  7. Tender; timorous. However soft within themselves they are, / To you they will be valiant by despair. – Dryden.
  8. Mild; gentle; kind; not severe or unfeeling; as, a person of a soft nature.
  9. Civil; complaisant; courteous; as, a person of soft manners. He has a soft way of asking favors.
  10. Placid; still; easy. On her soft axle while she paces even, / She bears thee soft with the smooth air along. – Milton.
  11. Effeminate; viciously nice. An idle soft course of life is the source of criminal pleasures. – Broome.
  12. Delicate; elegantly tender. Her form more soft and feminine. – Milton.
  13. Weak; impressible. The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's. [Not elegant.] – Glanville.
  14. Gentle; smooth or melodious to the ear; not loud, rough or harsh; as, a soft voice or note; a soft sound; soft accents; soft whispers. – Dryden. Pope.
  15. Smooth; flowing; not rough or vehement. The solemn nightingale tun'd her soft lays. – Milton. Soft were my numbers, who could take offense? – Pope.
  16. Easy; quiet; undisturbed; as, soft slumbers.
  17. Mild to the eye; not strong or glaring; as, soft colors; the soft coloring of a picture. The sun shining on the upper part of the clouds, made the softest lights imaginable. – Brown.
  18. Mild; warm; pleasant to the feelings; as, soft air.
  19. Not tinged with an acid; not hard; not astringent; as, soft water is the best for washing.
  20. Mild; gentle; not rough, rude or irritating. A soft answer turneth away wrath. – Prov. xv.

SOFT, adv.

Softly; gently; quietly.

SOFT, exclam.

for be soft, hold; stop; not so fast. But, soft, my muse, the world is wide. – Suckling.

SOFT-EN, v.i. [sof'n.]

  1. To become less hard; to become more pliable and yielding to pressure; as, iron or wax softens in heat; fruits soften us they ripen.
  2. To become less rude, harsh or cruel; as, savage natures soften by civilization.
  3. To become less obstinate or obdurate; to become susceptible of humane feelings and tenderness; to relent. The heart softens at the sight of woe.
  4. To become more mild; as, the air softens.
  5. To become less harsh, severe or rigorous.

SOFT-EN, v.t. [sof'n.]

  1. To make soft or more soft; to make less hard. Their arrow's point they soften in the flame. – Gay.
  2. To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable; to make more susceptible of humane or fine feelings; as, to soften a hard heart; to soften savage natures. The heart is softened by pity. Diffidence conciliates the proud, and softens the severe. – Rambler.
  3. To make less harsh or severe; as, to soften an expression.
  4. To palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault.
  5. To make easy; to compose; to mitigate; to alleviate. Music can soften pain to ease. – Pope.
  6. To make calm and placid. Bid her be all that cheers or softens life. – Pope.
  7. To make less harsh, less rude, less offensive or violent. But sweetly temper'd awe, and soften'd all he spoke. – Dryden.
  8. To make less glaring; as, to soften the coloring of a picture.
  9. To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; troops softened by luxury.
  10. To make less harsh or grating; as, to soften the voice.


Made less hard or less harsh; made less obdurate or cruel, or less glaring.


The act of making less hard, less cruel or obdurate, less violent, less glaring, &c.


In painting, the blending of colors into each other.


Making more soft; making less rough or cruel, &c.


Having tenderness of heart; susceptible of pity or other kindly affection; gentle; meek.


Somewhat soft. – D. Clinton.


An effeminate person; one viciously nice. [Little used.] – Woolton.

SOFT'LY, adv.

  1. Without hardness.
  2. Not with force or violence; gently; as, he softly pressed my hand.
  3. Not loudly; without noise; as, speak softly; walk softly. In this dark silence softly leave the town. – Dryden.
  4. Gently; placidly. She softly lays him on a flowery bed. – Dryden.
  5. Mildly; tenderly. The king must die; / Though pity softly pleads within my soul. – Dryden.


  1. He or that which softens.
  2. One that palliates. – Swift.


  1. The quality of bodies which renders them capable of yielding to pressure, or of easily receiving impressions from other bodies; opposed to hardness.
  2. Susceptibility of feeling or passion; as, the softness of the heart or of our natures.
  3. Mildness; kindness; as, softness of words or expressions. – Watts.
  4. Mildness; civility; gentleness; as, softness of manners. – Dryden.
  5. Effeminacy; vicious delicacy. He was not delighted with the softness of the court. – Clarendon.
  6. Timorousness; pusillanimity; excessive susceptibility of fear or alarm. This virtue could not proceed out of fear or softness. – Bacon.
  7. Smoothness to the ear; as, the softness of sound, which is distinct from exility or fineness. – Bacon.
  8. Facility; gentleness; candor; easiness to be affected; as, softness of spirit. – Hooker.
  9. Gentleness, as contrary to vehemence. With strength and softness, energy and ease. – Harte.
  10. Mildness of temper; meekness. For contemplation he and valor formed. – Milton. For softness she, and sweet attractive grace.
  11. Weakness; simplicity.
  12. Mild temperature; as, the softness of a climate. – Mitford.