Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SOFTENING

Is there no reward, no means of palliating the injury, and of softening your heart?

I was hoping she'd have a softening influence on you, and make gentlemen of you.

What if his mother had an old reason she well knew for softening to this poor girl!

A blessing on them as they go, softening our hard, unloving hearts!

This increases the susceptibility to softening from storm water or ground water.

No giving up, no softening, no forgiveness; but blood and iron to the end.

With that her face darkened, not in a softening melancholy, but old bitterness and defeat.

She stopped a moment, and looked at him with softening eyes.

Not the least was that of softening hearts and opening purses.

And the softening twilight fell upon the doomed but unconscious cities.

WORD ORIGIN

late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SOFTENING

extenuating

adjectiveserving as an excuse
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.