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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for emphasize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As though she had meant by wearing it to emphasize her belief in her lover.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • This was no time for him to ask me such a question, especially to emphasize the "you."

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Suddenly she leant forward upon the table as though to emphasize what she had to say.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • The discovery seemed only to emphasize the helplessness of his predicament.

    The Great Dome on Mercury Arthur Leo Zagat
  • This physiology, we may emphasize, is not derived from an investigation of human anatomy.

British Dictionary definitions for emphasize


(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 emphasize

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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