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Meaning of water softener

wa'ter sof"tener

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. any of a group of substances that when added to water containing calcium and magnesium ions cause the ions to precipitate or change their usual properties: used in the purification of water for the laboratory, and for giving water more efficient sudsing ability with soap.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.