- special stress laid upon, or importance attached to, anything: The president's statement gave emphasis to the budgetary crisis.
- something that is given great stress or importance: Morality was the emphasis of his speech.
- special and significant stress of voice laid on particular words or syllables.
- stress laid on particular words, by means of position, repetition, or other indication.
- intensity or force of expression, action, etc.: Determination lent emphasis to his proposals.
- prominence, as of form or outline: The background detracts from the emphasis of the figure.
- Electronics. preemphasis.
Origin of emphasis
Examples from the Web for emphasis
Udall shifted his emphasis to the economy in the last weeks of the campaign, but it was too late.A GOP Star Rises in Colorado, Beats Udall
November 5, 2014
When music had come into the discussion, the emphasis invariably was on rock sounds and players.The Stacks: John Coltrane’s Mighty Musical Quest
October 18, 2014
His emphasis on middle-class concerns is, well, understandable.Iowa Frontrunner Mike Huckabee Talks to The Daily Beast
September 22, 2014
While there will be always be an emphasis on the next great star, Li Na has already opened the door.Tennis Star Li Na Says Goodbye to the Court…and Puts the Sport’s Rise in Asia in Question
September 19, 2014
The era of expansion is over, to be replaced by an emphasis on ensuring the security of the existing members.Did Vladimir Putin Just Save NATO?
September 4, 2014
There was profound conviction in the emphasis with which she spoke her warning.
In the man's emphasis the girl realized at last the inefficacy of her efforts to combat his will.
She was only remarkable in this, for the force and emphasis with which she did it.Little Dorrit
He spoke it with emphasis, and struck his stick on the floor.The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
"Oh, no—that I am not," said the boy, with a very expressive smile and emphasis.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
- special importance or significance
- an object, idea, etc, that is given special importance or significance
- stress made to fall on a particular syllable, word, or phrase in speaking
- force or intensity of expressionhe spoke with special emphasis on the subject of civil rights
- sharpness or clarity of form or outlinethe sunlight gave emphasis to the shape of the mountain
Word Origin and History for emphasis
1570s, from Latin emphasis, from Greek emphasis "significance, indirect meaning," from emphainein "to present, show, indicate," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + phainein "to show" (see phantasm). In Greek and Latin, it developed a sense of "extra stress" given to a word or phrase in speech as a clue that it implies something more than literal meaning.