emphasis em"pha*sis ([e^]m"f[.a]*s[i^]s), n.; pl. {Emphases} ([e^]m"f[.a]*s[=e]z). [L., fr. Gr. 'e`mfasis significance, force of expression, fr. 'emfai`nein to show in, indicate; 'en in + fai`nein to show. See {In}, and {Phase}.] 1. (Rhet.) A particular stress of utterance, or force of voice, given in reading and speaking to one or more words whose signification the speaker intends to impress specially upon his audience. [1913 Webster]

The province of emphasis is so much more important than accent, that the customary seat of the latter is changed, when the claims of emphasis require it. --E. Porter. [1913 Webster]

2. A peculiar impressiveness of expression or weight of thought; vivid representation, enforcing assent; as, to dwell on a subject with great emphasis. [1913 Webster]

External objects stand before us . . . in all the life and emphasis of extension, figure, and color. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

3. a special attention given to, or extra importance attached to, something; as, a guided tour of Egypt with emphasis on the monuments along the Nile. [PJC]

4. something to which great importance is attached; as, the need for increased spending on education was the emphasis of his speech. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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