emphasis

noun
em·​pha·​sis | \ ˈem(p)-fə-səs How to pronounce emphasis (audio) \
plural emphases\ ˈem(p)-​fə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce emphases (audio) \

Definition of emphasis

1a : 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 : special consideration of or stress or insistence on something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for emphasis

Synonyms

accent, accentuation, stress, underscoring, weight

Antonyms

de-emphasis

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Examples of emphasis in a Sentence

Our candidate's plan has a different emphasis. a prep school with a long-established emphasis on sports

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet as Ms Haste emphasises, Alma was creative herself, pursuing both musical composition and piano. The Economist, "The life and loves of Alma Mahler," 14 June 2019 At times, Talbot’s emphasis on style is a little too precious to connect with emotionally, but there’s at least an inherent sweetness to the story. David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Painterly Mood Piece About a Changing City," 10 June 2019 The school’s principal is enforcing academic standards and wants more rigorous requirements, including more emphasis on Advanced Placement classes. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "How young is too young to begin preparing for a career?," 6 June 2019 Over time, however, Microsoft’s emphasis appeared to shift. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Cortana concept demo portrays her as a smart, competent AI assistant for the office," 6 May 2019 The related objection here is that EA’s emphasis on improving the welfare of individuals leads to a kind of indifference to broader structural problems like inequality or oppression or how power generally works in the world. Sean Illing, Vox, "How to do good better," 14 Dec. 2018 Washington State Patrol troopers will be running an emphasis patrol through Sunday, focusing on holiday travelers and on fans heading to Pullman for the Apple Cup on Friday. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "The best times to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to avoid the worst traffic congestion," 20 Nov. 2018 That may explain the all-out finale, boy after boy (emphasis boy) sent out shirtless, chests caked in silver glitter, in a pair of sequined jeans. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "If He Can Make It Here, He’ll Make It Anywhere," 7 June 2018 The book makes the case that today’s emphasis on home cooking and eating as a nuclear family doesn’t line up with reality. Ambreen Ali, Washington Post, "Today’s parents think they lack the time or skill to throw dinner parties. They’re missing out.," 17 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emphasis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of emphasis

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for emphasis

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

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Learn More about emphasis

Dictionary Entries near emphasis

empest

Empetraceae

Empetrum

emphasis

emphasise

emphasize

emphatic

Statistics for emphasis

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emphasis

The first known use of emphasis was in 1534

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More Definitions for emphasis

emphasis

noun

English Language Learners 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

emphasis

noun
em·​pha·​sis | \ ˈem-fə-səs How to pronounce emphasis (audio) \
plural emphases\ -​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of emphasis

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

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Comments on emphasis

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

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