What does emphasis mean?

Definitions for emphasis
ˈɛm fə sɪs; -ˌsizem·pha·sis

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word emphasis.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. emphasis, accentnoun

    special importance or significance

    "the red light gave the central figure increased emphasis"; "the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red accents"

  2. vehemence, emphasisnoun

    intensity or forcefulness of expression

    "the vehemence of his denial"; "his emphasis on civil rights"

  3. emphasisnoun

    special and significant stress by means of position or repetition e.g.

  4. stress, emphasis, accentnoun

    the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)

    "he put the stress on the wrong syllable"


  1. emphasisnoun

    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.

  2. emphasisnoun

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


  1. emphasisnoun

    Special weight or forcefulness given to something considered important.

    He paused for emphasis before saying who had won.

  2. emphasisnoun

    Special attention or prominence given to something.

    Anglia TV's emphasis is on Norwich and district.

  3. emphasisnoun

    Prominence given to a syllable or words, by raising the voice or printing in italic or underlined type.

    He used a yellow highlighter to indicate where to give emphasis in his speech.

  4. emphasisnoun

    Related to bold.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. EMPHASISnoun

    A remarkable stress laid upon a word or sentence; particular force impressed by stile or pronunciation.

    Etymology: ἔμφασις.

    Oh, that brave Cæsar!
    —— Be choak’d with such another emphasis. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleop.

    Emphasis not so much regards the time as a certain grandeur, whereby some letter, syllable, word, or sentence is rendered more remarkable than the rest, by a more vigorous pronunciation, and a longer stay upon it. William Holder, Elem. of Speech.

    These questions have force and emphasis, if they be understood of the antediluvian earth. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.


  1. emphasis

    Emphasis refers to special importance, value, or prominence given to something such as a word, idea, or action. It is a way of making something more noticeable or significant, often through repetition, contrast, or a change in tone, volume, or pitch in speech, or through specific formatting or style in writing.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Emphasisnoun

    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

  2. Emphasisnoun

    a peculiar impressiveness of expression or weight of thought; vivid representation, enforcing assent; as, to dwell on a subject with great emphasis

  3. Etymology: [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. Emphasis

    In typography, emphasis is the exaggeration of words in a text with a font in a different style from the rest of the text—to emphasize them.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Emphasis

    em′fa-sis, n. stress of the voice on particular words or syllables to make the meaning clear: impressiveness of expression or weight of thought: intensity:—pl. Em′phases (-sēz).—v.t. Em′phasīse, to make emphatic.—adjs. Emphat′ic, -al, uttered with or requiring emphasis: forcible: impressive.—adv. Emphat′ically.—n. Emphat′icalness. [L.,—Gr.,—em (=en), in, into, and phasisphaein, phainein, to show.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. emphasis

    To italicize a lie; to lay great stress on certain sounds that emanate from a larynx and that are intended to hypnotize a tympanum; to be impressive to the point of almost believing ourselves; the double chin of a declarative sentence; oratorical moth-balls.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'emphasis' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1861

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'emphasis' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3690

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'emphasis' in Nouns Frequency: #857

How to pronounce emphasis?

How to say emphasis in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of emphasis in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of emphasis in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of emphasis in a Sentence

  1. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto:

    I really understood the position of President Trump because he wanted Europeans to spend more, to put more emphasis on their security, we have been implementing a very significant and robust modernization strategy of our armed forces, which will last until 2026. We will hit the 2% (level) in 2023.

  2. Julian Barbiere:

    While we are witnessing major investment in space exploration, there's not enough on studying our own home and the ocean in particular, and I think this is really where we want to put our emphasis in the next 10 years -- to create the knowledge we need to put the planet on the sustainable path through marine protected areas.

  3. Benjamin Netanyahu:

    I put emphasis on markets to the East not because we want to give up on other markets. But we definitely want to reduce our dependence on certain markets in western Europe, western Europe is undergoing a wave of Islamisation, of anti-Semitism, and of anti-Zionism. It is awash in such waves, and we want to ensure that for years to come the State of Israel will have diverse markets all over the world.

  4. Dylan Cease:

    I think that’s pretty game-like. Definitely the curveball for a strike is a big emphasis, i think when I mix like that and I keep it in the strike zone, it’s hard to hit.

  5. Stan Boland:

    The challenges we have to solve here are subtly different and that calls for a different set of sensors ... and more emphasis on image and video processing, use of visual techniques for localization.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for emphasis

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"emphasis." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/emphasis>.

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    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    • A. recital
    • B. breastwork
    • C. germ
    • D. vigorish

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