Have you ever described something as soft, such as a bed or a mattress? Or, heard someone describe a person as soft, only to be confused because that person is not physically easy to push or mold?
Soft has three distinct meanings, though they are related. In case you want to describe several things as soft but don’t know which words you should use, look no further!
Synonyms for Soft meaning easy to mold or compress, the opposite of hard.
Something that is mushy takes on a feeling that is in between liquid and solid. I
nstead of being completely solid, such as a rock, or completely liquid, such as water, mushy things feel like a combination of the two. An example could be applesauce, or a muddy piece of land after heavy rains.
- The mushy banana was no longer good for eating directly, but was not a problem for using to make banana bread for the potluck.
- Ted does not like mushy foods, but luckily his wife really likes them.
- The mushy wet sand was a delight for the children on their summer vacation to the beach.
If something feels velvety, it usually has extremely soft fur on its side, similar to real velvet. This often refers to something that should feel this way, such as a rug, but can also refer to the feeling of materials such as leather.
If you are describing real velvet, it is unlikely that you would describe it as velvety because it is implied that this is the case inherently.
- The velvety texture of the chocolate cake was incredible, and James ended up eating four pieces before the wedding was over.
- I chose this blue and white jacket over the purple one because I like the velvety lining of the inside of this jacket.
- The velvety peel of the peach meant that it was ready to eat and would be very sweet.
Something that is malleable is easily changed shape. Usually, this refers to metals or something that should be solid, such as gold or thin sheets of iron.
It also has a metaphorical meaning, which refers to something not physical that can be modified, such as a child’s mind.
- Rachel wanted to be a teacher because she thought it was a noble profession to mold the malleable minds of children.
- The reason that so many machines and other factory items are made of metals such as iron and aluminum is because these materials are very malleable and easy to shape.
- Sometimes having malleable plans is good, and sometimes having such plans is not as good.
Something that is pliable is easily bent and flexible. This can again refer to something that is physically pliable, such as a thin sheet of metal, or something that is metaphorically pliable, such as a child’s mind.
- The best material for building a boat is slightly pliable to accommodate the tough waves and winds of the ocean.
- The gymnast took advantage of his pliable limbs by climbing all over the building.
- Ventura knew of the importance of her role as a teacher for the pliable teenage minds in her class.
Something that is doughy is usually a food that has not been cooked yet. Cookie dough or bread dough is the combination of eggs, flour, sugar, salt, oil, water, and other ingredients that make up the final product, but have not been in the oven to be cooked yet.
Therefore, something that is doughy has the texture of a thick mixture, but is still like liquid enough that you can pour it from one container to the next.
- Once Dean tasted the doughy texture of the bread, he knew right away that it needed more time to be baked in the oven.
- Some people love the doughy taste of cookie dough, and prefer to eat the cookie dough before it is baked rather than waiting for it to come out of the oven.
- When the experiment produced a food with a doughy texture, the scientist was puzzled.
Something that is squishy is not solid at all. Instead, it might feel like play dough or rubber, which can be easily molded into different shapes. It can also be like a memory foam mattress, which is soft and molds to the shape of your body as you sleep in it.
- Justin liked to eat squishy versions of fruits such as grapes and peaches, but Francis preferred to eat the crunchy ones.
- Do not think that just because sump wrestlers are squishy that they are not powerful.
- All the kids at the birthday party loved the squishy floor of the play arena, and spent more time jumping around on it than eating or playing the video games there.
Synonyms for soft meaning having a subtle or subdued effect rather than a sharp, obvious one.
Most of these words describe a person or their actions.
Someone who is mellow is laid back and willing to go with the flow. If something happens that they should be mad about, they may be mad for only a short time, or may not get mad at all.
In general, it is probably a good thing if your boss is mellow because that means she is unlikely to yell at you if something goes wrong, but it can also be because you seem very unenthusiastic about things.
- The mellow doorman guarding the party let everyone in the building, even the people that the host had specifically asked that he keep out.
- I do not know what it is like to be yelled at by my parents because they are both very mellow and almost never yell at anything.
- His mellow attitude towards her mistake helped her not worry as much about messing up as long as she worked hard to fix what she could.
Something or someone who is subtle is someone that can go below the radar, and try to do things that work for them without being noticed.
It is usually a small action or small push towards something desirable, meant to influence someone or something else but not in a way that lets everyone know that this is the situation.
Instead, you try to change something by inching across one step at a time before anyone can realize what you are doing.
- Jane kept shooting Beth subtle glances to let her know that she wanted to leave, but Beth remained completely oblivious to Jane’s desires until Jane gave up and left by herself.
- Sometimes people just need a subtle push or nod in a certain direction help them make decisions.
- The author of the detective mystery kept leaving very subtle clues about who the perpetrator of the crime was, but it was only until the criminal was revealed that Sally realized she should have seen it coming.
Something that is subdued is quiet, passive, shy, and gentle. Usually, subdued actions or ideas are ones that someone does not want other people to know about, such as governments suppressing the right of groups to assemble together and discuss an issue.
It can also be something like a sense of embarrassment at being found out when you are doing something you should not be, so you act subdued to try to avoid drawing any more attention to yourself.
- The subdued actions of the spy helped get infiltrate the government without being detected, and she was able to steal many secrets for her organization.
- Because the library had a policy of silence on half of their floors, the students studying on those floors communicated with subdued whispers.
- Brian lay in the subdued lights to rest and meditate before getting ready to go to bed.
While fainting can mean that someone falls over because they are overwhelmed, tired, or have a physical problem, something that is faint is barely detectable. It is not very obvious and usually only noticeable if you are specifically looking for it.
- Vicky was not paying attention so she did not notice the faint footsteps of her roommates in the hallway.
- They tried the best that they could to get rid of it, but they could not do anything about the faint smell of cleaning products in the air.
- The faint yellow writing on the wall was not obvious, but anyone who was looking for it could see it clearly.
Like the way that you can press mute on a TV or radio, something that is muted has been covered or quieted. This almost always refers to a sound, but in some circumstances can also refer to colors that are very faint.
- The muted sounds of the symphony played in the road across from the theater where they were playing.
- The muted yellows and greens of the painting gave it a very natural and relaxed feel, so that everyone who saw it would feel comfortable and calm.
- From across the hall we could all hear the muted laughter of the schoolchildren who were watching a funny movie.
Gentle describes something that is soft, mild, and nice. In general, gentle refers to a person or an action that the person takes. However, it can also describe things, such as hills, that are small in comparison to other things in the related category.
- The gentle slopes of the hills were easy to bike across, and on the weekends were filled with bikers trying to get some exercise outside.
- Her gentle attitude towards her students made her students really love her.
- When Ginny was extremely stressed out, the gentle touch of her mother helped her relax and focus on doing her best on the test.
Something that is mild is not very strong or strict. This is usually in comparison to something else, the way that mild salsa is not spicy or a tiny bit spicy, and regular salsa is much spicier.
Common things that are described as mild include flavors (especially spice), climate and weather, and demeanor or behavior.
- Today, the mild weather was so beautiful that the teacher brought her students outside to sit in the field for a picnic lunch.
- I much prefer mild salsa because I do not like spicy foods, but my mother prefers the spiciest salsa so we often have to buy two jars to satisfy both of us.
- Her mild manner provided a good anchor for her hot-tempered boyfriend.
Something that is moderate is the opposite of being extreme. In other words, it is in the center of the scale. Anything that has a continuum has a moderate, or someone or something that sits in the middle of that scale.
- The political moderates are the ones that most politicians in the general election are trying to persuade because they are the ones that will make the difference.
- The crowd at the airport was of a moderate size, but I still had to wait in line for hours to get through customs and retrieve my luggage.
- The moderate nonprofit organization was the surprising winner of a social media campaign to raise the most votes.
Synonyms for soft meaning lenient and sympathetic, often to the point of excess; the opposite of strict.
Someone who is forgiving is willing to let go of the harms that you commit against them. Even if you do something very damaging, someone forgiving is willing to give you a second chance at something for whatever reason.
This often refers to a person or organization, but can also refer to an inanimate object that returns to its original position even when moved or broken.
- Because they loved him, the forgiving parents allowed their rebellious son to return home even after he yelled at them repeatedly.
- The law is forgiving to people who break the law when they are young, but only if you show that you are willing and able to change.
- The metal structure of a car is forgiving after a car crash, so it takes the brunt of the impact instead of the people inside.
Someone who is tolerant is willing to tolerate, or put up with, things and people that they do not like or they are not similar to. If you mess up, it is good to have a tolerant parent, teacher, or boss; however, in comparison to acceptance, tolerance is not as kind or ambivalent as acceptance.
- The piano teacher was tolerant of her students’ wild behavior, but when she did not allow the children to bully her.
- We have increasingly become a society tolerant of diversity, but we have yet to reach the stage of acceptance and welcoming.
- The law is tolerant of people who make big mistakes, but only if you do not repeat those mistakes.
When describing weather, clement means mild, or sunny but not too hot. When describing a person or their actions, clement means merciful and forgiving.
- The month of clement weather put everyone in the city in a good mood.
- Nancy is fortunate to have a clement boss who understands the importance of family and allowed her to take several months off for maternity leave.
- Some countries have laws that are more clement than others, and the behavior of their citizens reflects that difference.
Something that is lax is relaxed, or not very strict. This almost always refers to a law or regulation, or the oversight of that law or regulation.
- The lax attitude of the police force towards drug trade led the drug trade industry to boom.
- My parents were very lax about my education growing up, but I found that it actually motivated me to work harder rather than hinder me.
- Some students thrive when their parents and teachers are lax towards them, but others needs the constant supervision and guidance to succeed.
Someone who is easygoing is someone who is willing to go with the flow, do things when they are needed but are not anxious to force something to happen. Instead, they adapt to the situation and are not afraid to do as the circumstance requires.
- Jack’s easygoing personality made him the center of attention at any get-together with his friends.
- It is often less stressful to be around someone who is easygoing than someone who is uptight, but the uptight person is more likely to have every detail planned out.
- My mother is easygoing but my father is stricter, so I would rather ask my mom if I can go out with my friends than ask my dad.
Someone who is indulgent is willing to indulge someone – usually a child – even if they do not necessarily want to or think it is the right thing to do. If something is very attractive but may be bad for you, such as eating too much chocolate cake, it can also be indulgent.
- The indulgent, rich brownie cake tasted amazing but helped Fred gain 5 pounds.
- Most parents are indulgent towards their children when the children are young, but only some start to hold their children to higher standards as the children age.
- Find someone who is indulgent to you, and you will find someone who appreciates you.
Someone who is sympathetic towards someone or something is willing to understand it. They know why that person committed the action or why the thing happened. Instead of being judgmental or irritated, they accept the reality of the situation and can then work to fix it.
- The judge was sympathetic towards the thief’s situation, so she gave him a lighter sentence.
- Luckily, my teacher was sympathetic when I explained that I needed an extension on my paper because my brother was hospitalized.
- The sympathetic lady helped me find my way when I was lost in a foreign country.
A law or judge system that is lenient is merciful or tolerant, allowing someone to get away with something that they should not or would not under another circumstance.
- My aunt believes that the current punitive system for drug dealers is too lenient, which makes more people willing to take a risk and sell drugs to high schoolers.
- My boss Rachel was lenient with me the first time I made a mistake, but after that she became extremely strict and unforgiving.
- My mother is far more lenient with my little brother than she is with me, and I think that is gravely unfair.
Someone or an action that is merciful is full of mercy, willing to forgive a wrong action. It can also refer to something that brings relief in a tough or bad situation.
- Christians preach about a merciful god.
- When Cathy’s terminally ill grandmother finally passed away, it was a merciful death.
- The merciful judge allowed the defendant to provide hundreds of hours of community service instead of locking him in a prison cell for five years.
Someone who is relaxed, or a situation that is relaxed, is free from anxiety or being uptight. Instead, it allows you to go with the flow and adjust as the situation changes, rather than trying to control every part of a process.
- Jenny was relaxed when it came to her company, but she was very strict about keeping track of her own finances.
- The relaxed atmosphere of the new company was a stark contrast to her last employer, but Laura definitely preferred this new company over the other.
- Emma did special exercises to help herself feel more relaxed before her test, and was able to perform significantly better than before.