Webster's Dictionary, 1913
; plural Sofas
. [ Arabic soffah
, from saffa
to dispose in order: confer French sofa
, Italian sofÃ
.] A long seat, usually with a cushioned bottom, back, and ends; -- much used as a comfortable piece of furniture.
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round. Cowper. Sofa bed
, a sofa so contrived that it may be extended to form a bed; -- called also sofa bedstead .
[ Italian soffitta
, from soffiggere
to hide, properly, to fix or fasten under, Latin suffigere
to fasten beneath or below; sub
under, beneath + figere
to fix, faste: confer French soffite
.] (Architecture) The under side of the subordinate parts and members of buildings, such as staircases, entablatures, archways, cornices, or the like. See Illust. of Lintel .
; plural Sofis Same as Sufi .
[ Compar. Softer
; superl. Softest
.] [ Middle English softe
, Anglo-Saxon s...fte
, properly adverb of s...fte
, adj.; akin to Old Saxon sāfto
, adverb , Dutch zacht
, Old High German samfto
, adverb , semfti
, adj., German sanft
, LG. sacht
; of uncertain origin.] 1. Easily yielding to pressure; easily impressed, molded, or cut; not firm in resisting; impressible; yielding; also, malleable; -- opposed to hard ; as, a soft bed; a soft peach; soft earth; soft wood or metal. 2. Not rough, rugged, or harsh to the touch; smooth; delicate; fine; as, soft silk; a soft skin.
They that wear soft clothing are in king's houses. Matt. xi. 8. 3. Hence, agreeable to feel, taste, or inhale; not irritating to the tissues; as, a soft liniment; soft wines.
, delicious air." Milton. 4. Not harsh or offensive to the sight; not glaring; pleasing to the eye; not exciting by intensity of color or violent contrast; as, soft hues or tints.
The sun, shining upon the upper part of the clouds . . . made the softest lights imaginable. Sir T. Browne. 5. Not harsh or rough in sound; gentle and pleasing to the ear; flowing; as, soft whispers of music.
Her voice was ever soft , Shak.
Gentle, and low, -- an excellent thing in woman.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offense? Pope. 6. Easily yielding; susceptible to influence; flexible; gentle; kind.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's; Shak.
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine.
The meek or soft shall inherit the earth. Tyndale. 7. Expressing gentleness, tenderness, or the like; mild; conciliatory; courteous; kind; as, soft eyes.
A soft answer turneth away wrath. Prov. xv. 1.
A face with gladness overspread, Wordsworth. 8. Effeminate; not courageous or manly, weak.
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred.
A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft , and wandering. Jer. Taylor. 9. Gentle in action or motion; easy.
On her soft axle, white she paces even, Milton. 10. Weak in character; impressible.
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along.
The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's. Glanvill. 11. Somewhat weak in intellect.
He made soft fellows stark noddies, and such as were foolish quite mad. Burton. 12. Quiet; undisturbed; paceful; as, soft slumbers. 13. Having, or consisting of, a gentle curve or curves; not angular or abrupt; as, soft outlines. 14. Not tinged with mineral salts; adapted to decompose soap; as, soft water is the best for washing. 15. (Phonetics) (a) Applied to a palatal, a sibilant, or a dental consonant (as g in gem , c in cent , etc.) as distinguished from a guttural mute (as g in go , c in cone , etc.); -- opposed to hard . (b) Belonging to the class of sonant elements as distinguished from the surd, and considered as involving less force in utterance; as, b , d , g , z , v , etc., in contrast with p , t , k , s , f , etc. Soft clam (Zoology)
, the common or long clam ( Mya arenaria ). See Mya .
-- Soft coal
, bituminous coal, as distinguished from anthracite , or hard, coal .
-- Soft crab (Zoology)
, any crab which has recently shed its shell.
-- Soft dorsal (Zoology)
, the posterior part of the dorsal fin of fishes when supported by soft rays.
-- Soft grass
. (Botany) See Velvet grass .
-- Soft money
, paper money, as distinguished from coin , or hard money .
[ Colloq. U.S.] -- Soft mute
. (Phonetics) See Media .
-- Soft palate
. See the Note under Palate .
-- Soft ray (Zoology)
, a fin ray which is articulated and usually branched.
-- Soft soap
. See under Soap .
, leavened bread, as distinguished from hard-tack , or ship bread .
-- Soft tortoise (Zoology)
, any river tortoise of the genus Trionyx. See Trionyx .
Soft noun A soft or foolish person; an idiot. [ Colloq.] G. Eliot.
Soft adverb Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly. Chaucer.
A knight soft riding toward them. Spenser.
Soft interj. Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.
Soft , you; a word or two before you go. Shak.
Soft steel Steel low in carbon; mild steel; ingot iron.
Soft-finned adjective (Zoology) Having the fin rays cartilaginous or flexible; without spines; -- said of certain fishes.
Soft-headed adjective Weak in intellect.
Soft-hearted adjective Having softness or tenderness of heart; susceptible of pity or other kindly affection; gentle; meek. -- Soft"-heart`ed*ness , noun
Soft-shell, Soft-shelled adjective Having a soft or fragile shell. Soft-shell clam (Zoology)
, the long clam. See Mya .
-- Soft-shelled crab
. (Zoology) See the Note under Crab , 1.
-- Soft-shelled turtle
. (Zoology) Same as Soft tortoise , under Soft .
Soft-spoken adjective Speaking softly; having a mild or gentle voice; hence, mild; affable.
Softa noun [ Corruption of Persian s...khtah one who burns, is ardent or zealous.] Any one attached to a Mohammedan mosque, esp. a student of the higher branches of theology in a mosque school. [ Written also sophta .]
Soften transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Softened
; present participle & verbal noun 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, 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.
But tempered awe, and softened all he spoke.
Soften intransitive verb To become soft or softened, or less rude, harsh, severe, or obdurate.
Softener noun One who, or that which, softens. [ Written also, less properly, softner.]
Softening adjective & noun from Soften , v. Softening of the brain
, or Cerebral softening (Medicine)
, 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 .
Softish adjective Somewhat soft. De Witt Clinton.
Softling noun A soft, effeminate person; a voluptuary. [ R.] Bp. Woolton. .
Softly adverb In a soft manner.
Softness noun [ Anglo-Saxon s...ftness , s...ftnyss .] The quality or state of being soft; -- opposed to hardness , and used in the various specific senses of the adjective.
Soger noun & intransitive verb Var. of Soldier .
[ Dial. or Slang] R. H. Dana, Jr.
Sogginess noun The quality or state of being soggy; soddenness; wetness.
[ Compar. Soggier
; superl. Soggiest
.] [ Confer Icelandic söggr
damp, wet, or English soak
.] Filled with water; soft with moisture; sodden; soaked; wet; as, soggy land or timber.
Soho interj. Ho; -- a word used in calling from a distant place; a sportsman's halloo. Shak.
Soi-disant adjective [ French] Calling himself; self-styled; pretended; would-be.
Soi-disant adjective [ F.; soi one's self + disant , present participle of dire to say.] Self- named; self-styled.
Soil transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Soiled
; present participle & verbal noun Soiling
.] [ Old French saoler
, to satiate, French soûler
, Latin satullare
, from satullus
, dim. of satur
sated. See Satire
.] To feed, as cattle or horses, in the barn or an inclosure, with fresh grass or green food cut for them, instead of sending them out to pasture; hence (such food having the effect of purging them), to purge by feeding on green food; as, to soil a horse.
[ Middle English soile
, French sol
, from Latin solum
bottom, soil; but the word has probably been influenced in form by soil
a miry place. Confer Saloon
a miry place, Sole
of the foot.] 1. The upper stratum of the earth; the mold, or that compound substance which furnishes nutriment to plants, or which is particularly adapted to support and nourish them. 2. Land; country.
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave Milton. 3. Dung; fæces; compost; manure; as, night soil .
Thee, native soil ?
Improve land by dung and other sort of soils . Mortimer. Soil pipe
, a pipe or drain for carrying off night soil.
Soil transitive verb To enrich with soil or muck; to manure.
Men . . . soil their ground, not that they love the dirt, but that they expect a crop. South.
[ Old French soil
, French souille
, from Old French soillier
, French souiller
. See Soil
to make dirty.] A marshy or miry place to which a hunted boar resorts for refuge; hence, a wet place, stream, or tract of water, sought for by other game, as deer.
As deer, being stuck, fly through many soils , Marston. To take soil
Yet still the shaft sticks fast.
, to run into the mire or water; hence, to take refuge or shelter.
O, sir, have you taken soil here? It is well a man may reach you after three hours' running. B. Jonson.
Soil transitive verb
[ Middle English soilen
, Old French soillier
, French souiller
, (assumed) Late Latin suculare
, from Latin sucula
a little pig, dim. of sus
a swine. See Sow
] 1. To make dirty or unclean on the surface; to foul; to dirty; to defile; as, to soil a garment with dust.
Our wonted ornaments now soiled and stained. Milton. 2. To stain or mar, as with infamy or disgrace; to tarnish; to sully. Shak. Syn.
-- To foul; dirt; dirty; begrime; bemire; bespatter; besmear; daub; bedaub; stain; tarnish; sully; defile; pollute.
Soil intransitive verb To become soiled; as, light colors soil sooner than dark ones.
[ See Soil
to make dirty, Soil
a miry place.] That which soils or pollutes; a soiled place; spot; stain.
A lady's honor . . . will not bear a soil . Dryden.
Soil pipe A pipe or drain for carrying off night soil.
Soiliness noun Stain; foulness. [ R.] Bacon.
Soilless adjective Destitute of soil or mold.
[ Old French soillure
, French souillure
. See Soil
to make dirty.] Stain; pollution. Shak.
Then fearing rust or soilure , fashioned for it Tennyson.
A case of silk.
Soily adjective Dirty; soiled. [ Obsolete] Fuller.
[ French, from soir
evening, from Latin serus
late time. Confer Serenade
.] An evening party; -- distinguished from levee , and matinée .
Soja (sō"jȧ or sō"yȧ) noun (Botany) An Asiatic leguminous herb ( Glycine Soja ) the seeds of which are used in preparing the sauce called soy .
Sojer noun & intransitive verb Var. of Soldier .
[ Dial. or Slang]
Sojourn intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Sojourned
; present participle & verbal noun Sojourning
.] [ Middle English sojornen
, Old French sojorner
, French séjourner
, from Latin sub
under, about + diurnus
belonging to the day. See Journal
.] To dwell for a time; to dwell or live in a place as a temporary resident or as a stranger, not considering the place as a permanent habitation; to delay; to tarry.
Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there. Gen. xii. 30.
Home he goeth, he might not longer sojourn . Chaucer.
The soldiers first assembled at Newcastle, and there sojourned three days. Hayward.
[ Confer Old French sujurn
, French séjour
. See Sojourn
, intransitive verb
] A temporary residence, as that of a traveler in a foreign land.
Though long detained Milton.
In that obscure sojourn .
Sojourner noun One who sojourns.
We are strangers before thee, and sojourners . 1. Chron. xxix. 15.
Sojourning noun The act or state of one who sojourns.
Sojournment noun Temporary residence, as that of a stranger or a traveler. [ R.]