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.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • emphasis — 1570s, from L. emphasis, from Gk. emphasis significance, indirect meaning, from emphainein to present, show, indicate, from en in (see EN (Cf. en ) (2)) + phainein to show (see PHANTASM (Cf. phantasm)). In Greek and Latin, it developed a sense of …   Etymology dictionary

  • emphasis — [em′fə sis] n. pl. emphases [em′fəsēz΄] [L < Gr emphasis, an appearing in, outward appearance < emphainein, to indicate < en , in + phainein, to show < IE base * bha , to shine > OE bonian, to polish] 1. force of expression,… …   English World dictionary

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  • emphasis — [n] importance, prominence accent, accentuation, attention, decidedness, force, headline, highlight, impressiveness, insistence, intensity, moment, positiveness, power, preeminence, priority, significance, strength, stress, underlining,… …   New thesaurus

  • emphasis — ► NOUN (pl. emphases) 1) special importance, value, or prominence given to something. 2) stress laid on a word or words in speaking. ORIGIN Greek, originally in the sense appearance, show , later denoting a figure of speech in which more is… …   English terms dictionary

  • emphasis — noun 1 special importance/attention ADJECTIVE ▪ big (informal), considerable, great, heavy, huge ▪ schools that put a heavy emphasis on sporting achievement ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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