1. make (images or sounds) soft or softer

Definition categories: perception

2. lessen in force or effect

- soften a shock

Similar word(s): break, damp, dampen, weaken

Definition categories: change, blunt, deaden

3. give in, as to influence or pressure

Similar word(s): relent, yield

Definition categories: stative

4. protect from impact

Similar word(s): buffer, cushion

Definition categories: contact, modify

5. make less severe or harsh

Similar word(s): mince, moderate

Definition categories: communication, alter, change, modify

6. make soft or softer

- This liquid will soften your laundry

Definition categories: change, alter, modify

7. become soft or softer

- The bread will soften if you pour some liquid on it

Definition categories: change

Sentences with soften as a verb:

- Soften the butter before beating in the sugar.

- Before the invasion, we softened up the enemy with the artillery.

- Having second thoughts, I softened my criticism.

- The butter softened as it warmed up.