What does the word softening mean?

Usage examples for softening

  1. " I'm properly grateful to the few, then," retorted Darrin, his eyes softening a trifle. – Dave Darrin's First Year at Annapolis by H. Irving Hancock
  2. " Accursed be all cowards, say I." Then, softening his tone a little, he continued: " Friend and comrade, say no more. – Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race by Maud Isabel Ebbutt
  3. Strange what influence calamity possesses in softening the character! – Jane Talbot by Charles Brockden Brown

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