Words related to soft
hardcore also hard-core; 1936 (n.); 1951 (adj.); from hard (adj.) + core (n.). Original use seems to be among economists and sociologists, in reference to unemployables. Extension to pornography is attested by 1966. Also the name of a surfacing material.
softball (n.) baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1916, also known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976. soften (v.) late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening. softness (n.) Old English softnes "ease, comfort; state of being soft to the touch; luxury;" see soft (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "weakness of character, effeminacy" is from c. 1600. soft-pedal (v.) "to tone down," 1915, figurative use from the noun (1856) in reference to the left foot-lever of a piano, which makes it quieter among other effects; from soft (adj.) + pedal (n.).