- soft (adj.)
- Old English softe "gentle, easy, comfortable," from West Germanic *samfti, from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (cf. Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable."
Sense of "causing little hardship or suffering" attested from c.1200. Of sounds, from mid-13c. Meaning "foolish, simple, silly" is attested from 1620s. Adjective soft core (in reference to pornography) is from 1966. Soft rock as a music style is attested from 1969. Soft sell is from 1955. Soft-shoe as a dancing style is attested from 1927.