Difference Wiki

Soft vs. Delicate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 26, 2023
Soft refers to something yielding to touch or pressure, while delicate implies fragility or fineness, often needing careful handling.

Key Differences

Soft and delicate are adjectives with varying nuances. Soft typically denotes a texture or sound that is gentle, smooth, or yielding to touch or pressure. It is versatile, describing anything from textures to sounds, indicating a lack of harshness or roughness. For instance, a soft pillow provides comfort, and a soft melody soothes the listener, expressing mildness or tenderness in quality.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
Delicate, on the other hand, primarily conveys a sense of fragility or fineness and often necessitates careful handling or treatment. It may refer to objects, flavors, feelings, or situations. A delicate glass ornament may easily break, and a delicate subject may require tactful discussion, reflecting subtlety or vulnerability in essence.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
Soft is generally used to depict the opposite of hard or loud, emphasizing comfort, smoothness, or quietness. It may describe physical properties like a soft fabric, indicating pliability and a pleasant feel, or non-physical attributes like a soft voice, representing calmness or gentleness in tone. It’s a multifaceted word providing a broad spectrum of interpretations based on context.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
Conversely, delicate delineates something that is easily damaged, harmed, or disturbed, either physically or metaphorically. It portrays intricate details, like those in a delicate piece of lace or nuanced flavors in a delicate dish, requiring discernment or appreciation. It reflects sensitivity or refinement in construction, flavor, or approach.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
In essence, while soft predominantly relates to the mildness or gentleness of texture, sound, or demeanor, delicate pertains more to the fragility, fineness, or subtlety of objects, flavors, feelings, or situations. Both words, though close in meaning, offer distinct perspectives and are applicable in varied contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Yielding to touch or pressure.
Fragile and often needing careful handling.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Aspect

Texture or Sound
Fragility or Fineness
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Usage

Describes comfort, smoothness, or quietness.
Reflects subtlety or vulnerability in essence.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Application

Physical and Non-Physical Attributes
Objects, Flavors, Feelings, or Situations
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Opposite

Hard or Loud
Robust or Sturdy
Aimie Carlson
Sep 26, 2023
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Soft and Delicate Definitions

Soft

Yielding readily to touch or pressure.
The soft mattress conformed to his body shape.
Harlon Moss
Sep 26, 2023

Delicate

Exquisitely fine or subtle in quality, structure, or kind.
The chef prepared a dish with a delicate balance of flavors.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Gentle or mild in demeanor.
His soft demeanor puts people at ease instantly.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Delicate

Light, fine, or frail in structure or form.
The delicate lace adorned the hem of her gown.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Not harsh or severe.
The teacher spoke in a soft and gentle manner to the child.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Delicate

Pleasing to the senses, especially in a subtle way
A delicate flavor.
A delicate violin passage.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Yielding readily to pressure or weight
A soft melon.
A soft pillow.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Easily broken or damaged
A kite too delicate to fly.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Easily molded, cut, or worked
Soft wood.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Exquisitely fine or dainty
Delicate china.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

(Sports) Not tense and therefore capable of absorbing the impact of a ball or puck and of catching, receiving, or controlling it
A receiver with soft hands.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Frail in constitution or health.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Out of condition; flabby
Got soft sitting at a desk all day.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Marked by sensitivity of discrimination
A critic's delicate perception.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Smooth or fine to the touch
A soft fabric.
Soft fur.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Very subtle in difference or distinction.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not loud, harsh, or irritating
A soft voice.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Having or showing great consideration or care
Delicate remarks concerning the scandal.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not brilliant or glaring; subdued
Soft colors.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Requiring careful or tactful treatment
A delicate situation.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not sharply drawn or delineated
Soft charcoal shading.
A scene filmed in soft focus.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Fine or soft in touch or skill
A surgeon's delicate touch.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Mild; balmy
A soft breeze.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Measuring, indicating, or responding to very small changes; precise
A delicate set of scales.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Tender or affectionate
A soft glance.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Easily damaged or requiring careful handling.
Those clothes are made from delicate lace.
The negotiations were very delicate.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Attracted or emotionally involved
He has been soft on her for years.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Characterized by a fine structure or thin lines.
Her face was delicate.
The spider wove a delicate web.
There was a delicate pattern of frost on the window.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not stern; lenient
A coach who was soft on his players.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Intended for use with fragile items.
Set the washing machine to the delicate cycle.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Lacking strength of character; weak
Too soft for the pressure of being a spy.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; said of manners, conduct, or feelings.
Delicate behaviour
Delicate attentions
Delicate thoughtfulness
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

(Informal) Simple-minded or foolish
He's soft in the head.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Of weak health; easily sick; unable to endure hardship.
A delicate child
Delicate health
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not demanding or difficult; easy
A soft job.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

(informal) Unwell, especially because of having drunk too much alcohol.
Please don't speak so loudly: I'm feeling a bit delicate this morning.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Based on conciliation or compromise
Took a soft line toward their opponents.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

(obsolete) Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Gradually declining in trend; not firm
A soft economy.
A soft computer market.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Pleasing to the senses; refined; adapted to please an elegant or cultivated taste.
A delicate dish
Delicate flavour
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

(Sports) Scored on a shot that the goalie should have blocked
A soft goal.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Informal and entertaining without confronting difficult issues or hard facts
Limited the discussion to soft topics.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Light, or softly tinted; said of a colour.
A delicate shade of blue
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Using or based on data that is not readily quantifiable or amenable to experimental verification or refutation
The lawyer downplayed the soft evidence.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Softcore.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Highly discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite.
A delicate taste
A delicate ear for music
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Being a turn in a specific direction at an angle less acute than other possible routes
A soft right.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes.
A delicate thermometer
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Of or relating to a paper currency as distinct from a hard currency backed by gold.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

A delicate item of clothing, especially underwear or lingerie.
Don't put that in with your jeans: it's a delicate!
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Having low dissolved mineral content
Soft water.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

(obsolete) A choice dainty; a delicacy.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Nonalcoholic.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

(obsolete) A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Nonaddictive or mildly addictive. Used of certain drugs.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Addicted to pleasure; luxurious; voluptuous; alluring.
Dives, for his delicate life, to the devil went.
Haarlem is a very delicate town.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Having a low or lower power of penetration
Soft x-rays.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Pleasing to the senses; refinedly agreeable; hence, adapted to please a nice or cultivated taste; nice; fine; elegant; as, a delicate dish; delicate flavor.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Sibilant rather than guttural, as c in certain and g in gem.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Slight and shapely; lovely; graceful; as, "a delicate creature."
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Voiced and weakly articulated
A soft consonant.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Fine or slender; minute; not coarse; - said of a thread, or the like; as, delicate cotton.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Palatalized, as certain consonants in Slavic languages.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Slight or smooth; light and yielding; - said of texture; as, delicate lace or silk.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Unprotected against or vulnerable to attack
A soft target.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Soft and fair; - said of the skin or a surface; as, a delicate cheek; a delicate complexion.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

In a soft manner; gently.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Light, or softly tinted; - said of a color; as, a delicate blue.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Refined; gentle; scrupulous not to trespass or offend; considerate; - said of manners, conduct, or feelings; as, delicate behavior; delicate attentions; delicate thoughtfulness.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Tender; not able to endure hardship; feeble; frail; effeminate; - said of constitution, health, etc.; as, a delicate child; delicate health.
A delicate and tender prince.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Hence, agreeable to feel, taste, or inhale; not irritating to the tissues; as, a soft liniment; soft wines.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Requiring careful handling; not to be rudely or hastily dealt with; nice; critical; as, a delicate subject or question.
There are some things too delicate and too sacred to be handled rudely without injury to truth.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Of exacting tastes and habits; dainty; fastidious.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not harsh or rough in sound; gentle and pleasing to the ear; flowing; as, soft whispers of music.
Her voice was ever soft,Gentle, and low, - an excellent thing in woman.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offense?
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Nicely discriminating or perceptive; refinedly critical; sensitive; exquisite; as, a delicate taste; a delicate ear for music.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Easily yielding; susceptible to influence; flexible; gentle; kind.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine.
The meek or soft shall inherit the earth.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Affected by slight causes; showing slight changes; as, a delicate thermometer.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Expressing gentleness, tenderness, or the like; mild; conciliatory; courteous; kind; as, soft eyes.
A soft answer turneth away wrath.
A face with gladness overspread,Soft smiles, by human kindness bred.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

A choice dainty; a delicacy.
With abstinence all delicates he sees.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Effeminate; not courageous or manly, weak.
A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft, and wandering.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

A delicate, luxurious, or effeminate person.
All the vessels, then, which our delicates have, - those I mean that would seem to be more fine in their houses than their neighbors, - are only of the Corinth metal.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Gentle in action or motion; easy.
On her soft axle, white she paces even,And bears thee soft with the smooth air along.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury;
A delicate violin passage
Delicate china
A delicate flavor
The delicate wing of a butterfly
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Weak in character; impressible.
The deceiver soon found this soft place of Adam's.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Marked by great skill especially in meticulous technique;
A surgeon's delicate touch
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Somewhat weak in intellect.
He made soft fellows stark noddies, and such as were foolish quite mad.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Easily broken or damaged or destroyed;
A kite too delicate to fly safely
Fragile porcelain plates
Fragile old bones
A frail craft
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Quiet; undisturbed; paceful; as, soft slumbers.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Easily hurt;
Soft hands
A baby's delicate skin
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Having, or consisting of, a gentle curve or curves; not angular or abrupt; as, soft outlines.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Developed with extreme delicacy and subtlety;
The satire touches with finespun ridicule every kind of human pretense
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not tinged with mineral salts; adapted to decompose soap; as, soft water is the best for washing.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Difficult to handle; requiring great tact;
Delicate negotiations with the big powers
Hesitates to be explicit on so ticklish a matter
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Of an instrument or device; capable of registering minute differences or changes precisely;
Almost undetectable with even the most delicate instruments
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

A soft or foolish person; an idiot.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Easily broken or damaged; fragile.
The delicate porcelain vase requires careful handling.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Softly; without roughness or harshness; gently; quietly.
A knight soft riding toward them.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Requiring tactful treatment due to sensitivity.
The matter at hand is delicate and needs a thoughtful approach.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Be quiet; hold; stop; not so fast.
Soft, you; a word or two before you go.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Delicate

Refined in perception, taste, manners, or beauty.
Her delicate taste is reflected in her elegant attire.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Lacking in hardness relatively or comparatively
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Metaphorically soft;
My father is a soft touch
Soft light
A soft rain
A soft Southern drawl
Soft brown eyes
A soft glance
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Of sound; relatively low in volume;
Soft voices
Soft music
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Easily hurt;
Soft hands
A baby's delicate skin
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Used chiefly as a direction or description in music;
The piano passages in the composition
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Used of beverages; not containing alcohol;
Nonalcoholic beverages
Soft drinks
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Of speech sounds; characterized by a hissing or hushing sound (as `s' and `sh')
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Tolerant or lenient;
Indulgent parents risk spoiling their children
Procedures are lax and discipline is weak
Too soft on the children
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Having little impact;
An easy pat on the shoulder
Gentle rain
A gentle breeze
A soft (or light) tapping at the window
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Not burdensome or demanding; borne or done easily and without hardship;
What a cushy job!
A soft job
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

In a relaxed manner; or without hardship;
Just wanted to take it easy
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 28, 2023

Soft

Having a pleasingly low or subdued sound.
Her soft voice was barely audible in the crowded room.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Soft

Lacking in strength or force.
The soft light of the candle flickered in the breeze.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023

FAQs

Is delicate always about fragility?

Predominantly, but it also denotes subtlety in quality, flavor, or appearance.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Is soft the opposite of loud?

Yes, in terms of sound, soft is often used as the opposite of loud.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023

Is a soft voice low in volume?

Generally, a soft voice is subdued or low in volume and intensity.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Can something be both soft and delicate?

Yes, an item can be soft in texture and delicate, meaning fragile or subtle.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Does delicate imply a refined taste or perception?

Yes, it can denote refined taste, perception, or sensibility in various contexts.
Harlon Moss
Sep 26, 2023

Does soft always refer to texture?

No, soft can refer to sound, demeanor, light, and other non-textural qualities as well.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Does delicate always imply the need for careful handling?

Often, as delicate items or situations are typically fragile or sensitive.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023

Is softness related to comfort?

Frequently, soft textures and sounds are associated with comfort and pleasantness.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Can delicate refer to a situation or topic?

Yes, delicate can describe situations or topics requiring tact or sensitivity.
Sara Rehman
Sep 26, 2023

Can something be soft but not delicate?

Absolutely, items like a soft ball may be durable and not delicate.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 26, 2023

Can delicate refer to food flavors?

Yes, delicate can describe subtle or refined flavors in cuisine.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023

Is a soft demeanor the same as a gentle demeanor?

Typically, yes, a soft demeanor usually implies gentleness or mildness.
Janet White
Sep 26, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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