em·​phat·​ic | \ im-ˈfa-tik How to pronounce emphatic (audio) , em-\

Definition of emphatic

1 : uttered with or marked by emphasis an emphatic refusal
2 : tending to express oneself in forceful speech or to take decisive action
3 : attracting special attention
4 : constituting or belonging to a set of tense forms in English consisting of the auxiliary do followed by an infinitive without to that are used to facilitate rhetorical inversion or to emphasize something

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Other Words from emphatic

emphatically \ im-​ˈfa-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce emphatically (audio) , em-​ \ adverb

Examples of emphatic in a Sentence

They were emphatic about their political differences. the governor issued an emphatic denial of all charges

Recent Examples on the Web

In Europe, he was seen as Milan’s weak link, further emphatic proof that the one position on the field where no team needs a Brazilian is in goal. Rory Smith, New York Times, "An Oxymoron No More: The Great Brazilian Goalkeeper," 21 June 2018 Post, who was drinking beers and smoking cigarettes throughout the night, decided that this was time to make an emphatic statement. Eric Diep, Billboard, "Post Malone Kicks Off 'Beerbongs & Bentleys' Tour with Rockstar Antics in Portland," 27 Apr. 2018 But when Kenya’s Ibrahim Hussein nipped Tanzania’s Juma Ikangaa in 1988 by one second in what was then the closest finish in race history, Africa made an emphatic statement that still is resonating three decades later. John Powers, BostonGlobe.com, "10 former Boston Marathon champions talk about their wins and what they’re up to now," 15 Apr. 2018 What followed a few weeks later, tipping off the community to an impending federal immigration raid, was an even more emphatic statement. Mark Z. Barabak, latimes.com, "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is having a moment. But will a war with Trump help or hurt the city?," 19 Mar. 2018 The Ducks jumped on top early and used a 10-1 run featuring an emphatic slam by Wooten to take a 27-16 lead. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Oregon beats UC Irvine 73-54 to advance to Sweet 16," 25 Mar. 2019 As Rosalind, Pereyra is too emphatic and pushes too hard for a character who should register as not only madly in love but also thoughtful and wary regarding love’s limitations. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Players Theatre's comedy 'As You Like It' makes every word count," 19 June 2018 His celebration was simple but emphatic: a fist pump and a scream toward the nearby River End stands. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Borek Dockal scores first Union goal in 3-2 win over D.C. United," 28 Apr. 2018 Three of the party’s best-known elected officials went down Tuesday in emphatic fashion. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Democrats clean house with big upsets," 6 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emphatic.' 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 emphatic

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emphatic

Greek emphatikos, from emphainein

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Statistics for emphatic

Last Updated

25 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emphatic

The first known use of emphatic was in 1602

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More Definitions for emphatic



English Language Learners Definition of emphatic

: said or done in a forceful or definite way
: speaking or acting in a forceful way


em·​phat·​ic | \ im-ˈfa-tik How to pronounce emphatic (audio) \

Kids Definition of emphatic

: spoken or done forcefully She shook her head in emphatic refusal.

Other Words from emphatic

emphatically adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on emphatic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with emphatic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emphatic

Spanish Central: Translation of emphatic

Nglish: Translation of emphatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emphatic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on emphatic

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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