Meaning of soft ground

soft' ground'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. an etching ground usually mixed with tallow. Cf.
  2. a technique of etching in which a design is drawn on paper placed on a plate covered with a soft ground, resulting in a granular effect resembling pencil, chalk, or crayon.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.