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softener

[saw-fuh-ner, sof-uh-] /ˈsɔ fə nər, ˈsɒf ə-/
noun
1.
Chemistry.
  1. any admixture to a substance for promoting or increasing its softness, smoothness, or plasticity.
  2. water softener.
2.
a person or thing that softens.
Origin of softener
1600-1610
1600-10; soften + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for softener

softener

/ˈsɒfə/
noun
1.
a substance added to another substance to increase its softness, pliability, or plasticity
2.
a substance, such as a zeolite, for softening water
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for softener
n.

c.1600, agent noun from soften.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
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