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Related to softens: conceded, deepens

soften one's stance (on someone or something)

Fig. to reduce the severity of one's position regarding someone or something. If he would soften his stance on the matter, I could easily become more cooperative.
See also: soften

soften someone up

Fig. to prepare to persuade someone of something. I will talk to Fred and soften him up for your request. I will soften up your father before you ask him about it.
See also: soften, up

soften something up

to take actions that will make something softer. soften the butter up before you add it to the batter. Please soften up the ice cream before you try to serve it.
See also: soften, up

soften up

1. Lit. [for something] to become softer. The butter softened up in the heat of the day. The candles will probably soften up and bend over in this hot weather.
2. Fig. [for someone] to adopt a more gentle manner. After a while, she softened up and was more friendly. It was weeks before Ted softened up and treated us more kindly.
See also: soften, up

soften the blow

also cushion the blow
to make a difficult experience less unpleasant Special relief funds have been set aside to soften the blow to families that lost someone in the disaster.
See also: blow, soften

cushion the blow

to do something that reduces harm The way to cushion the blow is to raise prices slowly, not all at once.
Etymology: from the idea of making the force of one thing hitting another less damaging by surrounding it with something soft
See also: blow, cushion

soften the blow

to make something unpleasant easier to accept Although tuition rates are going up, more scholarships will be available to soften the blow. Not only were they losing their jobs, but they could not count on any financial cushion to soften the blow.
See also: blow, soften

soften somebody/something up

also soften up somebody/something
to weaken someone or something Constant bombing was designed to soften the enemy up and weaken him. The ads were just a way to soften up public opinion to accept a big price increase.
See also: soften, up

cushion/soften the blow

to make a difficult experience less unpleasant Free street parking is to be abolished, but residents are being offered reduced price parking permits in an attempt to cushion the blow.
See strike a blow for, blow up in face, blow a hole in, blast to kingdom come, blow the lid off, blow own trumpet, blow a raspberry, blow socks off, let off steam
See also: blow, cushion

soften up

Reduce resistance, as in His sales motto was: a fine lunch and a few drinks often will soften up a prospective customer . This expression transfers lessening of physical hardness to lessening mental resistance. It was first used, however, in World War II, where it meant "reduce the enemy's defenses by preliminary bombing." [c. 1940]
See also: soften, up

soften up

1. To make something soft or softer: He softened up his new baseball glove with some oil. He left the butter out to soften it up.
2. To undermine or reduce the strength, morale, or resistance of someone or something: The air force softened up the enemy positions with a heavy bombing campaign. The children gave me a present to soften me up before asking for new bicycles.
See also: soften, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Whether focusing on the bikini area, legs, or underarms, Soften Her keeps ladies' shaved and/or waxed skin looking (and feeling) unbelievably smooth, fresh, and healthy.
After noticing an overwhelming response to our male beard and stubble softener, The Soft Goat, I knew we needed to develop a similar product with women in mind," says Mike Finfrock, CEO of Soften Her.
Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Skin Salve (40g, pounds 24) With Moroccan argan oil plus essential oils of patchouli, orange, eucalyptus and cedarwood, a solid gel-like substance which softens on use.
Bobbi Brown Extra Moisturizing Balm (50ml, pounds 58) Cream which softens in the hands before being applied.
Apply the water- based gel to wet hands, rinse and the fine film left softens and protects.
It can soften and dissolve most paints even after they've hardened.
The researchers now plan to investigate how the enzyme softens the polymers.
Simple courtesy on the part of officers softens these emotions.
After more than 30 years in real estate and three seasons of the hit TV show "The Apprentice," Trump will finally "soften up" by teaming with the new 'all' Cleans & Softens laundry detergent to help wash clothes for charity.
Water doesn't plasticize PS, so water-blown beads don't soften and are usable right out of the pre-expander.
Trim the thickened skin or soak the area to soften the skin.
When harvested and exposed to ethylene gas, the fruit then softens and develops color normally, producing a tomato with superior vine-ripened taste and texture.
The machine, up to 200 feet long, heats and softens the existing asphalt with a number of infrared heaters fueled by propane gas.
The other method is to pop the whole piece into your mouth and wallow it around, sucking on the chocolate until it softens sufficiently to chew.