em·​pha·​size | \ ˈem(p)-fə-ˌsīz How to pronounce emphasize (audio) \
emphasized; emphasizing

Definition of emphasize

transitive verb

: to place emphasis on : stress emphasized the need for reform

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of emphasize in a Sentence

supermarket tabloids that emphasize sensational news stories that huge belt buckle only emphasizes his big gut

Recent Examples on the Web

Tobin also emphasized that the people on the list are not necessarily guilty, only that an allegation has been received and deemed credible. Leah Asmelash And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "The Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, publishes a list of 50 clergy members accused of sexually abusing children," 1 July 2019 This single-issue extreme political formation also emphasizes hostility to immigration, the other side of the Brexit coin, and a generalized form of nationalism. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: British politics reflect change — and stability," 14 June 2019 And [are] aspects of the science being differently emphasized? Maxine Joselow, Scientific American, "EPA’s Science Advisory Board to Scrutinize Clean Car Rollback," 12 June 2019 Many former employees emphasized that the roots of Homegrown’s problems stretched back beyond January. Aria Thaker, Quartz at Work, "How Indian media company Homegrown imploded in the wake of #MeToo," 11 June 2019 Researchers also emphasize the importance of hopeful peer-to-peer messages. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Kids in Crisis' film on youth mental health attracts national attention with DVD giveaway, NewsHour segment," 7 June 2019 The following season, though, the media guides and accompanying poster emphasized the gymnasts as incredibly buff athletes — Marlowe was featured most prominently of all. Dvorameyers, Longreads, "The Gymnast’s Position," 5 June 2019 Smit also emphasizes that not all diamonds form in the same way. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Earth's seafloor may be destined to become diamonds," 30 May 2019 Meghan also emphasized the importance of empowering people through fashion during last night's awards ceremony. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Jewelry at the British Fashion Awards Was a Sneaky Tribute to Prince Charles," 11 Dec. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of emphasize

1793, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about emphasize

Statistics for emphasize

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emphasize

The first known use of emphasize was in 1793

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for emphasize



English Language Learners Definition of emphasize

: to give special attention to (something) : to place emphasis on (something)


em·​pha·​size | \ ˈem-fə-ˌsīz How to pronounce emphasize (audio) \
emphasized; emphasizing

Kids Definition of emphasize

: to give special attention or importance to He emphasized the word “maybe.”

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on emphasize

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!