softening

3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Soften \Sof"ten\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Softened}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Softening}.] To make soft or more soft. Specifically: (a) To render less hard; -- said of matter.

Their arrow's point they soften in the flame. --Gay. (b) To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable.

Diffidence conciliates the proud, and softens the severe. --Rambler. (c) To palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault. (d) To compose; to mitigate; to assuage.

Music can soften pain to ease. --Pope. (e) To make calm and placid.

All that cheers or softens life. --Pope. (f) To make less harsh, less rude, less offensive, or less violent, or to render of an opposite quality.

He bore his great commision in his look, But tempered awe, and softened all he spoke. --Dryden. (g) To make less glaring; to tone down; as, to soften the coloring of a picture. (h) To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; as, troops softened by luxury. (i) To make less harsh or grating, or of a quality the opposite; as, to soften the voice.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Softening \Sof"ten*ing\, a. & n. from {Soften}, v.

{Softening of the brain}, or {Cerebral softening} (Med.), a localized softening of the brain substance, due to hemorrhage or inflammation. Three varieties, distinguished by their color and representing different stages of the morbid process, are known respectively as red, yellow, and white, softening.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

softening

adjective

1: having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin [syn: {demulcent}, {emollient}, {salving}, {softening}]

noun

1: the process of becoming softer; "refrigeration delayed the softening of the fruit"; "he observed the softening of iron by heat"


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