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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SOFTER

He still held his big voice to a softer modulation than that to which it was habituated.

His bed was no softer in the cave, as he lay down with a stone for his pillow.

It is true, the scholar had the softer soul, but the master had the kinder.

Hence they were more glutinous than flesh, but softer than bone.

"You ask me to believe too much," said she, but her tone was softer than he had ever known it yet.

"Enough, Blanche," Mr. Laurence continued, in a softer voice.

"It isn't that alone," he declared, grave-faced still, but with a softer voice.

The clothes on your body feel smoother and softer than the finest silk.

She was more thoughtful; she looked at him with softer eyes.

And whose spirit was ever softer, sweeter or happier than that of Thomas More!

WORD ORIGIN

Old English softe, earlier sefte, "gentle, mild-natured; easeful, comfortable, calm, undisturbed; luxurious," from West Germanic *samfti, from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (cf. Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft; and from a variant form with -ch- for -f-, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht, German sacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable."

From c.1200 of material things, "not stiff, not coarse, fine; yielding to weight." From late 14c. of wind, rain, etc. Of sounds, "quiet, not loud," from early 13c. Of words, "mild, restrained; courteous" mid-14c. From late 14c. as "indulgent," also "physically feeble; easily overcome, lacking manly courage." From 1755 of water ("relatively free from mineral salts"), from 1789 of coal. Meaning "foolish, simple, silly" is attested from 1620s; earlier "easily moved or swayed; soft-hearted, sympathetic; docile" (early 13c.). In reference to drinks, "non-alcoholic" from 1880. As an adverb, Old English softe "gently;" late 13c. as "quietly." As an interjection from 1540s.

Soft landing is from 1958 and the U.S. space program. Adjective soft-core (in reference to pornography) is from 1966 (cf. hardcore). Soft rock as a music style is attested from 1969. Soft sell is from 1955. Soft-shoe as a dancing style is attested from 1927. Soft-boiled is from 1757 of eggs; of persons, ideas, etc., 1930 (cf. half-baked). Soft-focus (adj.) of camera shots is from 1917. The softer sex "women collectively" is from 1640s.

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