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 emphatic (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 The Carmel junior ran to an emphatic victory late Saturday night in the Nike XC Town Twilight cross-country meet at Terre Haute. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Oct. 2021 Ohio State needed an emphatic victory in a matchup like this after failing to secure them against Minnesota and Tulsa. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 2 Oct. 2021 The top-seeded Eagles (24-0) scored twice in the third inning, twice in the fourth, four times in the fifth and had a likely MLB Draft pick close the game out of the bullpen in an emphatic victory. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, 9 June 2021 Western Carolina isn’t going to offer near as much of a challenge as Tulane, but Riley was emphatic that the opponent this week is irrelevant. Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2021 But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has been just as emphatic that no Republican will help Democrats on the issue. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Sep. 2021 Numerous referenda have shown that when populations are given a say in whether their city should take on an Olympics, the answer is almost always an emphatic no. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 7 Aug. 2021 But therapists on the app are emphatic that TikTok is not a substitute for therapy. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 But the reaction from many Republicans on the other side hasn’t been nearly as emphatic. Sara Burnett, Sarah Rankin, Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Sep. 2021

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

borrowed from French & Late Latin; French emphatique "forcefully expressive," going back to Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin emphaticus, borrowed from Greek emphatikós "expressive, indicative," from empha-, stem in noun derivation of emphaínein "to exhibit, display, indicate" + -t-, verbal adjective formative + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at emphasis

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Time Traveler for emphatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of emphatic was in 1602

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emphatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emphatic. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on emphatic

Nglish: Translation of emphatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emphatic for Arabic Speakers


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