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soften

1 ENTRIES FOUND:
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soften/ˈsɑːfən/verb
softenssoftenedsoftening
soften
/ˈsɑːfən/
verb
softenssoftenedsoftening
Learner's definition of SOFTEN  
: to become less hard or firm or to make (something) less hard or firm
[no object]
[+ object]
[+ object] : to make (something) less dry or rough
[+ object] : to make (something) less severe, harsh, extreme, etc.
   b [no object] : to become less harsh, severe, extreme, etc.
   c [+ object] : to make (something) less painful, forceful, or harmful— often used figuratively
[+ object] : to make (something) seem rounder or less sharp

soften up

[phrasal verb]
soften (someone) up or soften up (someone) 
: to treat (someone) very well or kindly in order to make that person more likely to help you, give you something, etc.
: to weaken (an enemy) through military attacks
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