soft hyphen

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soft hyphen

A hyphen that prints if it winds up at the end of the line, but does not print otherwise. Contrast with hard hyphen. See discretionary hyphen.
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Admittedly, the editor may be using the first printed text as his copy-text, and the printer may not have followed the author's punctuation faithfully; but still nothing is actually going to be added or deleted: a soft hyphen is a product of the justification, not of the text.