Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

emphasis

play
noun em·pha·sis \ˈem(p)-fə-səs\

Simple Definition of emphasis

  • : a forceful quality in the way something is said or written

  • : added force that is given to a word or syllable when speaking

  • : special importance or attention given to something

Full Definition of emphasis

plural em·pha·sesplay \-ˌsēz\

  1. 1 a :  force or intensity of expression that gives impressiveness or importance to something b :  a particular prominence given in reading or speaking to one or more words or syllables

  2. 2 :  special consideration of or stress or insistence on something

Examples of emphasis

  1. Our candidate's plan has a different emphasis.

  2. <a prep school with a long-established emphasis on sports>



Origin of emphasis

Latin, from Greek, exposition, emphasis, from emphainein to indicate, from en- + phainein to show — more at fancy


First Known Use: 1573



EMPHASIS Defined for Kids

emphasis

play
noun em·pha·sis \ˈem-fə-səs\

Definition of emphasis

plural em·pha·ses \-ˌsēz\

  1. 1 :  a forcefulness in the way something is said or written that gives it special attention or importance

  2. 2 :  special force given to one or more words or syllables in speaking or reading <In the word "vacation," the emphasis is on the second syllable.>

  3. 3 :  special attention or importance given to something





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up emphasis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 196.5 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ