mul·​ti·​fo·​cal ˌməl-ti-ˈfō-kəl How to pronounce multifocal (audio)
: having multiple foci: such as
of a disease : arising from or present in more than one location or localized area of the body
multifocal pneumonia with infiltrates throughout both lungs
… Kaposi's sarcoma is "multifocal" with a storm of lesions springing up simultaneously in several spots, in contrast to cancer's single-cell origin.Marilyn Chase
: having two or more parts that correct vision at different focal distances : having more than one focal length
multifocal eyeglasses
compare bifocal entry 1, trifocal entry 1

Examples of multifocal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most patients with these advanced technology multifocal lenses are happy with them. Discover Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 These lenses are designed to maintain their multifocal behavior even at smaller apertures, which means that people who wear them can enjoy better vision in all lighting conditions. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 The introduction of multifocal electroretinography has further broadened the horizons of this testing method. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 These measurements involve base curve, diameter, sphere, cylinder, axis and sometimes additional measurements for multifocal lenses. Nicole F. Roberts, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Other types of cataract surgery lenses that are not covered by Medicare include toric (for astigmatism) and multifocal, which can correct both near and distance vision. Margie Zable Fisher, Fortune Well, 26 July 2023 For instance, after the beneficial MS drug Tysabri was discovered to cause the rare but serious brain infection with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a REMS known as the Tysabri Outreach Unified Commitment to Health (TOUCH Prescribing Program) saved it from withdrawal. Jason Karlawish, STAT, 16 June 2023 What is multifocal pneumonia? Korin Miller,, 9 Sep. 2021 Researchers uncovered four gene variants connected with the immune system that significantly increase a person’s risk of developing the disease, known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML. Jonathan Wosen, STAT, 14 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'multifocal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of multifocal was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near multifocal

Cite this Entry

“Multifocal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


mul·​ti·​fo·​cal ˌməl-ti-ˈfō-kəl How to pronounce multifocal (audio)
: having more than one focal length
multifocal lenses
: arising from or occurring in more than one focus or location
multifocal seizures
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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