Webster 1913 Edition
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To make soft or more soft.Specifically: –
To render less hard; – said of matter.
Their arrow’s point they
softenin the flame.
To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable.
Diffidence conciliates the proud, and
To palliate; to represent as less enormous;
To compose; to mitigate; to assuage.
softenpain to ease.
(e)To make calm and placid.
All that cheers or
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
But tempered awe, and
softenedall he spoke.
To make less glaring; to tone down;
softenthe coloring of a picture
To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate;
To make less harsh or grating, or of a quality the opposite;
To become soft or softened, or less rude, harsh, severe, or obdurate.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.To make soft or more soft; to make less hard. their arrow's point they soften in the flame.
2.To mollify; to make less fierce or intractable; to make more susceptible of humane or fine feelings; as, to soften a hard heart; to soften savage natures. The heart is softened by pity. Diffidence concilliates the proud, and softens the severe.
3.To make less harsh or severe; as, to soften an expression.
4.To palliate; to represent as less enormous; as, to soften a fault.
5.To make easy; to compose; to mitigate; to alleviate. Music can soften the pain to ease.
6.To make calm and placid. Bid her be all that cheers or softens life.
7.To make less harsh, less rude, less offensive or violent. But sweetly temper'd awe, and soften'd all be spoke.
8.To make less glaring; as, to soften the coloring of a picture.
9.To make tender; to make effeminate; to enervate; as troops softened by luxury.
10.To make less harsh or grating; as, to soften the voice.
2.To become less rude, harsh or cruel; as, savage natures soften by civilization.
3.To become less obstinate or obdurate; to become more susceptible of humane feelings and tenderness; to relent. The heart softens at the sight of woe.
4.To become more mild; as, the air softens.
5.To become less harsh, severe or rigorous.