From Middle English softe, from Old English sōfte, alteration of earlier sēfte, from Proto-West Germanic *samftī ("level, even, smooth, soft, gentle") (compare *sōmiz), from Proto-Indo-European *semptio-, *semtio-, from *sem-. Cognate with West Frisian sêft ("gentle; soft"), Dutch zacht ("soft"), German Low German sacht ("soft"), German sanft ("soft, yielding"), Old Norse sœmr ("agreeable, fitting"), samr. More at seem, same.
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