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[em-fuh-sahyz] /ˈɛm fəˌsaɪz/
verb (used with object), emphasized, emphasizing.
to give emphasis to; lay stress upon; stress:
to emphasize a point; to emphasize the eyes with mascara.
Also, especially British, emphasise.
Origin of emphasize
First recorded in 1820-30; emphas(is) + -ize
Related forms
hyperemphasize, verb (used with object), hyperemphasized, hyperemphasizing.
misemphasize, verb (used with object), misemphasized, misemphasizing.
reemphasize, verb (used with object), reemphasized, reemphasizing.
superemphasize, verb (used with object), superemphasized, superemphasizing.
unemphasized, adjective
unemphasizing, adjective
well-emphasized, adjective
accent, accentuate, highlight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for emphasising
Historical Examples
  • “We will take him across to France first,” said Stratton, emphasising the first word.

    Witness to the Deed George Manville Fenn
  • He found a strange pleasure in emphasising his opposition to her.

    Demos George Gissing
  • Mill drafted the rules of the club, emphasising the duty of members to propagate sound economic opinions through the press.

  • A rat ran across the concrete, emphasising the desolation of the scene.

  • "Mr. Sprague and Mr. Purvis," said Ricordo, emphasising their names just as a foreigner might do.

    The Man Who Rose Again Joseph Hocking
  • Let me preface this description by emphasising the fact that he was eminent.

    Caught by the Turks Francis Yeats-Brown
  • Claudius read in a steady determined tone, emphasising his sentences with care, and never once taking his eyes from the book.

    Doctor Claudius, A True Story F. Marion Crawford
  • Side by side with this, not contradicting but emphasising it, was another truth.

    The Boy with Wings Berta Ruck
  • He gently patted the table with his hand, emphasising the last words, while he leaned forward to see his brother's face.

    Corleone F. Marion Crawford
  • "Hate," said the little man, emphasising his point with a clumsy fist.

    The New Machiavelli Herbert George Wells
British Dictionary definitions for emphasising


(transitive) to give emphasis or prominence to; stress
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for emphasising



1828, from emphasis + -ize. Related: Emphasized; emphasizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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