Meaning of emphasis in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɛmfəsɪs/

See synonyms for emphasis

Translate emphasis into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1Special importance, value, or prominence given to something.

    ‘they placed great emphasis on the individual's freedom’
    • ‘different emphases and viewpoints’
    • ‘Other than that, however, today's two stories have very different emphases.’
    • ‘It is difficult to assign priority to the problems since each centre's emphases and interests are different.’
    • ‘All of the essays repeat this same cluster of ideas, developing their implications with different emphases and nuances.’
    • ‘This basic structural difference leads in turn to radically different emphases within the two scholarly worlds.’
    • ‘I can accept that different cultures have different emphases and that analytic thinking may be more prevalent in one than another.’
    • ‘Inspectors stressed that more emphasis on multiculturalism was needed.’
    • ‘Perhaps the lack of emphasis on fairness indicates denial of the reality.’
    • ‘An emphasis on this element indicate a practical, cautious, and pragmatic approach to life.’
    • ‘This indicates a shift of emphasis among ethnographers as to what folk art meant.’
    • ‘Women are her main protagonists and she places emphasis on the closed domesticity of an interior female world.’
    • ‘To achieve the transition, the continent has to put emphasis on technology and innovations.’
    • ‘They also highlight the need for continued emphasis on the primary prevention of coronary heart disease.’
    • ‘I also stress that the Government has placed an enormous amount of emphasis on the family.’
    • ‘But she particularly likes its emphasis on the spiritual rather than the material.’
    • ‘Above all, however, they developed a model of spirituality that placed much emphasis on action in the world.’
    • ‘This case displays a change in emphasis from spiritual growth toward consumerism.’
    • ‘This sort of exaggerated emphasis on good manners can be used to promote servility.’
    • ‘A variety of events are being organised throughout the year with the emphasis on community spirit.’
    • ‘The reality is that in the fire service so much of the emphasis is put on strength and stamina.’
    • ‘It puts the main emphasis on a cease-fire to end the current violence followed by negotiations.’
    • ‘This is the strength of the master plan, where the emphasis remains on the spaces, not the buildings.’
    prominence, importance, significance
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  • 2Stress given to a word or words when speaking to indicate particular importance.

    ‘inflection and emphasis can change the meaning of what is said’
    • ‘Kylie repeated her words with special emphasis, as if talking to a very slow person.’
    • ‘His emphasis on the word protector made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.’
    • ‘I put plenty of emphasis on the word to make sure he understood what I was trying to say.’
    • ‘She put emphasis on the word him, and suddenly yesterday's events came to me and I started to cry.’
    • ‘He spoke in a very strange way, all in Russian of course, with emphasis on every other word that he spoke.’
    • ‘I put emphasis on the word fun, twisting it so that it sounded chiding and sarcastic.’
    • ‘Her emphasis on the word me expressed how she truly thought she was superior to others.’
    • ‘She put a false emphasis on that last word that made it sound like something else.’
    • ‘He put a slight emphasis on the last word, as though unsure exactly what it implied.’
    • ‘The relative lack of emphasis on the ending sounds of words in Spanish may be a factor as well.’
    • ‘I laid particular emphasis on the word ' had '… Yes, that's right.’
    • ‘Except exploring, " I said making sure to add extra emphasis on the word ' exploring '.’
    • ‘"I think you have the emphasis on the wrong syllable, " Madi remarked.’
    stress, accent, accentuation, weight, force, prominence
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    1. 2.1Vigour or intensity of expression.
      ‘he spoke with emphasis and with complete conviction’
      • ‘He leaned forward in his chair again to give his words more emphasis.’
      • ‘Bob manages to make very obvious things sound like genius by stressing his words and using his arms for emphasis.’
      passion, force, forcefulness, ardour, fervour, spirit, spiritedness, urgency, strength, forcibleness, emphasis, vigour, intensity, violence, earnestness, eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm, zeal, zealousness, fanaticism
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Late 16th century via Latin from Greek, originally ‘appearance, show’, later denoting a figure of speech in which more is implied than is said (the original sense in English), from emphainein ‘exhibit’, from em- ‘in, within’ + phainein ‘to show’.