[saw-fuhn, sof-uhn]
verb (used with object)
to make soft or softer.
verb (used without object)
to become soft or softer.

1325–75; Middle English; see soft, -en1

oversoften, verb
resoften, verb
unsoftening, adjective

1. melt; mollify, mitigate, soothe, alleviate, calm, quiet, ease.

1, 2. harden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
soften (ˈsɒfən)
1.  to make or become soft or softer
2.  to make or become gentler
3.  (intr) commerce
 a.  (of demand, a market, etc) to weaken
 b.  (of a price) to fall

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1385, "to mitigate, diminish," from soft (adj.). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1530; intrans. sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1611.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
When it's time to relax in a bubble bath, they are certain to soften and soothe
  you in all the right places.
The cushion will trim returns in normal times, but soften any declines and give
  you means to buy on a terrorism-related dip.
We all know people who change their tune later in life, soften or change their
  stand on issues or ideas.
The crust will seem crisp when it first comes out, then soften immediately, but
  will crisp back up as it cools.
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