See more synonyms for emphatic on Thesaurus.com
  1. uttered, or to be uttered, with emphasis; strongly expressive.
  2. using emphasis in speech or action.
  3. forceful; insistent: a big, emphatic man; I must be emphatic about this particular.
  4. very impressive or significant; strongly marked; striking: the emphatic beauty of sunset.
  5. clearly or boldly outlined: It stands, like a great, stone dagger, emphatic against the sky.
  6. Grammar. of or relating to a form used to add emphasis, especially, in English, stressed auxiliary do in affirmative statements, as in He did call you or I do like it.
  7. Phonetics. having a secondary velar articulation, as certain dental consonants in Arabic.
  1. an emphatic consonant.

Origin of emphatic

1700–10; < Greek emphatikós indicative, forceful, equivalent to *emphat(ós) (em- em-2 + phatós, variant of phantós visible, equivalent to phan-, stem of phaínesthai to appear + -tos adj. suffix) + -ikos -ic
Related formsem·phat·i·cal·ly, adverbem·phat·i·cal·ness, nounun·em·phat·ic, adjectiveun·em·phat·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for emphatic

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Antonyms for emphatic

3. weak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unemphatic

Historical Examples of unemphatic

  • The hour with Geoffrey was like a poultice on his wound—so mild and unemphatic was it.

    Paths of Judgement

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • It is unemphatic, and has lost all its force as an adverb of place.

  • It was graceful, unemphatic, composed of playful repartee and merry glances.

    Franklin Kane

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • Her face was oval, smooth in outline, with a nose just Jewish enough for the beauty of suave curves and unemphatic outlines.

  • The unemphatic way in which she sometimes made important suggestions was one of Aunt Elsies peculiarities.

    Wheat and Huckleberries

    Charlotte Marion (White) Vaile

British Dictionary definitions for unemphatic


  1. expressed, spoken, or done with emphasis
  2. forceful and positive; definite; directan emphatic personality
  3. sharp or clear in form, contour, or outline
  4. important or significant; stressedthe emphatic points in an argument
  5. phonetics denoting certain dental consonants of Arabic that are pronounced with accompanying pharyngeal constriction
  1. phonetics an emphatic consonant, as used in Arabic

Word Origin for emphatic

C18: from Greek emphatikos expressive, forceful, from emphainein to exhibit, display, from phainein to show
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

Word Origin and History for unemphatic



1708, from Greek emphatikos, variant of emphantikos, from emphainein (see emphasis). Emphatical is earlier (1550s). Related: Emphatically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper