View synonyms for emphasis


[ em-fuh-sis ]


, plural em·pha·ses [em, -f, uh, -seez].
  1. special stress laid upon, or importance attached to, anything:

    The president's statement gave emphasis to the budgetary crisis.

  2. something that is given great stress or importance:

    Morality was the emphasis of his speech.

  3. Rhetoric.
    1. special and significant stress of voice laid on particular words or syllables.
    2. stress laid on particular words, by means of position, repetition, or other indication.
  4. intensity or force of expression, action, etc.:

    Determination lent emphasis to his proposals.

  5. prominence, as of form or outline:

    The background detracts from the emphasis of the figure.

  6. Electronics. preemphasis.


/ ˈɛmfəsɪs /


  1. special importance or significance
  2. an object, idea, etc, that is given special importance or significance
  3. stress made to fall on a particular syllable, word, or phrase in speaking
  4. force or intensity of expression

    he spoke with special emphasis on the subject of civil rights

  5. sharpness or clarity of form or outline

    the sunlight gave emphasis to the shape of the mountain

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Other Words From

  • mis·empha·sis noun plural misemphases
  • re·empha·sis noun plural reemphases
  • super·empha·sis noun plural superemphases

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Word History and Origins

Origin of emphasis1

First recorded in 1565–75; from Latin, from Greek émphasis “indication,” equivalent to em- em- 2 + phásis phasis

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Word History and Origins

Origin of emphasis1

C16: via Latin from Greek: meaning, (in rhetoric) significant stress; see emphatic

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Example Sentences

Voice tone doesn’t factor into your points total, but the features together put a strong emphasis on encouraging users to shape their behavior around the AI-driven suggestions.

Levien told Axios that the company’s strategy is “broadly working” and “any change from here is a question of emphasis.”

From Digiday

While the wildlife trade is a source of spillover, Carlson says the emphasis placed on it often outstrips the evidence.

As such, existing marketing plans were shelved, making way for new coronavirus-aware content strategies that placed emphasis on empathy over commercialism.

For media outlets, this emphasis on alarming news is a business decision.

Udall shifted his emphasis to the economy in the last weeks of the campaign, but it was too late.

When music had come into the discussion, the emphasis invariably was on rock sounds and players.

Critics of the bigot should begin placing a bit less emphasis on what he says or feels than what he actually does.

His emphasis on middle-class concerns is, well, understandable.

While there will be always be an emphasis on the next great star, Li Na has already opened the door.

It was difficult to describe—a little sterner, a little wilder, a faint emphasis of the barbaric peering through it.

There are four general forms of emphasis which serve as indications of the characteristics of expression.

It is that from which the former, by the addition of a prefix, which gives emphasis to the meaning, is derived.

"To bathe in the very heart's blood of the one desired," he added with grave emphasis.

Let your articulation be easy, clear, correct in accent, and suited in tone and emphasis to your discourse.


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