- The definition of emphasis is special attention put on something to give it importance.
- An example of emphasis is bolding the font of a particular word in a document to bring attention to it.
- An example of emphasis is a woman wearing a low cut shirt in order to bring attention to her cleavage.
- force of expression, thought, feeling, action, etc.
- special stress given as to a syllable, word, or phrase in speaking
- special attention given to something so as to make it stand out; importance; stress; weight: to put less emphasis on athletics
Origin: Classical Latin ; from Classical Greek emphasis, an appearing inch(es) outward appearance ; from emphainein, to indicate ; from en-, inch(es) plush phainein, to show ; from Indo-European base an unverified form bha-, to shine from source Old English bonian, to polish
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. em·pha·ses
- Special forcefulness of expression that gives importance to something singled out; stress: a lecture on housekeeping with emphasis on neatness; paused for emphasis, then announced the winner's name.
- Special attention or effort directed toward something: a small-town newspaper's emphasis on local affairs.
- Prominence given to a syllable, word, or words, as by raising the voice or printing in italic type.
Origin: Latin, from Greek, from emphainein, to exhibit, display : en-, in; see en-2 + phainein, to show; see bhā-1 in Indo-European roots.