What does focus mean?

Definitions for focus
ˈfoʊ kəsfo·cus

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. focus, focusing, focussing, focal point, direction, centeringnoun

    the concentration of attention or energy on something

    "the focus of activity shifted to molecular biology"; "he had no direction in his life"

  2. focusnoun

    maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system

    "in focus"; "out of focus"

  3. focusnoun

    maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea

    "the controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion"

  4. focus, focal point, nidusnoun

    a central point or locus of an infection in an organism

    "the focus of infection"

  5. stress, focusnoun

    special emphasis attached to something

    "the stress was more on accuracy than on speed"

  6. focus, focal pointnoun

    a point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges

  7. focusverb

    a fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section

  8. concentrate, focus, center, centre, pore, rivetverb

    direct one's attention on something

    "Please focus on your studies and not on your hobbies"

  9. focusverb

    cause to converge on or toward a central point

    "Focus the light on this image"

  10. concenter, concentre, focalize, focalise, focusverb

    bring into focus or alignment; to converge or cause to converge; of ideas or emotions

  11. focus, focalize, focaliseverb

    become focussed or come into focus

    "The light focused"

  12. focus, focalize, focalise, sharpenverb

    put (an image) into focus

    "Please focus the image; we cannot enjoy the movie"


  1. focusnoun

    a point at which reflected or refracted rays of light converge.

    The heat of sunlight at the focus of a magnifying glass can easily set dry leaves on fire.

  2. focusnoun

    a point of a conic at which rays reflected from a curve or surface converge.

  3. focusnoun

    The fact of the convergence of light on the photographic medium.

    Unfortunately, the license plate is out of focus in this image.

  4. focusnoun

    The quality of the convergence of light on the photographic medium.

    During this scene, the boy's face shifts subtly from soft focus into sharp focus.

  5. focusnoun

    concentration of attention.

    I believe I can bring the high degree of focus required for this important job.

  6. focusnoun

    the exact point of where an earthquake occurs, in three dimensions.

    The earthquake's focus was at exactly 37 degrees north, 18 degrees south, seventy five meters below the ground.

  7. focusnoun

    The indicator of the currently active element in a user interface.

    Text entered at the keyboard or pasted from a clipboard is sent to the component which currently has the focus.

  8. focusnoun

    The most important word or phrase in a sentence or passage, or the one that imparts information

  9. focusverb

    To cause (rays of light, etc) to converge at a single point.

  10. focusverb

    To adjust (a lens, an optical instrument) in order to position an image with respect to the focal plane.

    You'll need to focus the microscope carefully in order to capture the full detail of this surface.

  11. focusverb

    To make (a liquid) less diluted.

  12. focusverb

    To concentrate one's attention.

    If you're going to beat your competitors, you need to focus.

  13. Etymology: focus, of unknown origin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FOCUSnoun

    Etymology: Latin.

    The point from which rays diverge, or to which they converge, may be called their focus. Isaac Newton, Opt.


  1. FOCUS

    FOCUS is a fourth-generation programming language (4GL) computer programming language and development environment that is used to build database queries. Produced by Information Builders Inc., it was originally developed for data handling and analysis on the IBM mainframe. Subsequently versions for minicomputers and such as the VAX and other platforms were implemented. FOCUS was later extended to personal computers and (in 1997) to the World Wide Web: the WebFOCUS product.


  1. focus

    Focus is the ability to concentrate one's attention or energy on a specific task, objective, or goal. It involves the act of directing one's mental and physical efforts towards a particular point of interest or desired outcome, while minimizing distractions and staying engaged with the task at hand. In other words, focus involves channeling and maintaining one's attention on a single point or activity, allowing for increased efficiency, productivity, and mental clarity.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Focusnoun

    a point in which the rays of light meet, after being reflected or refrcted, and at which the image is formed; as, the focus of a lens or mirror

  2. Focusnoun

    a point so related to a conic section and certain straight line called the directrix that the ratio of the distace between any point of the curve and the focus to the distance of the same point from the directrix is constant

  3. Focusnoun

    a central point; a point of concentration

  4. Focusverb

    to bring to a focus; to focalize; as, to focus a camera

  5. Etymology: [L. focus hearth, fireplace; perh. akin to E. bake. Cf. Curfew, Fuel, Fusil the firearm.]


  1. FOCUS

    FOCUS is a computer programming language and development environment. It is a language used to build database queries, and is regarded as a fourth-generation programming language. Produced by Information Builders Inc., it was originally developed for data handling and analysis on the IBM mainframe. As newer systems were developed and smaller computers became more powerful, the available platforms for FOCUS were extended to personal computers and in 1997, to the World Wide Web in the WebFOCUS product.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Focus

    fō′kus, n. (opt.) a point in which several rays meet and are collected after being reflected or refracted, while a virtual focus is a point from which rays tend after reflection or refraction—the principal focus is the focus of parallel rays after reflection or refraction: any central point:—pl. Fō′cuses, Foci (fō′sī).v.t. to bring to a focus: to concentrate:—pa.p. fō′cussed.adj. Fō′cal, of or belonging to a focus.—v.t. Fō′calise, to bring to a focus: to concentrate.—n. Focimeter (fō-sim′e-tėr), an instrument for assisting in focussing an object in or before a photographic camera—usually a lens of small magnifying power.—Focussing cloth, a cloth thrown over a photographic camera and the operator's head and shoulders to exclude all light save that coming through the lens.—Conjugate foci, two points so situated that if a light be placed at one, its rays will be reflected to the other; In focus, placed or adjusted so as to secure distinct vision, or a sharp, definite image. [L. focus, a hearth.]


  1. Focus

    Focus is a private, venture-funded company located in San Francisco founded in August 2005 by a team committed to making world class business expertise available to everyone. Today, Focus is the world’s fastest-growing business research and media company. When you visit Focus.com, you will find high quality research, 1:1 analyst support, and a thriving community of business and technology professionals. Whether it’s data-driven product research, topical briefs, or real-time support, the information on Focus is sourced from real experts - professionals like you. Best of all, it’s free and available to anyone who wants help making better business decisions. That’s why millions of people have relied on the expertise of Focus to make better business decisions.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. focus

    A point where converging rays or lines meet.

Editors Contribution

  1. focus

    To direct attention, energy or time to a specific purpose.

    Their focus was on achieving little things every day which can lead to great change over a period of time.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 19, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. focus

    Song lyrics by focus -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by focus on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'focus' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2660

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'focus' in Nouns Frequency: #1135

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'focus' in Verbs Frequency: #423

How to pronounce focus?

How to say focus in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of focus in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of focus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of focus in a Sentence

  1. Phil Kemp:

    We're trying to do this globally; we'll focus on Western Europe and the United States initially and then look to spread further.

  2. Bruce Banerdt:

    We've been hoping for a dust cleaning like we saw happen several times to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, that's still possible, but energy is low enough that our focus is making the most of the science we can still collect.

  3. Mark Esper:

    He's trying to shrink the National Security Council back down to the size of what it was many, many years ago, i hope he does. I think the National Security Council staff needs to shrink and focus on coordinating between the departments.

  4. Outgoing Walgreens CEO Steffano Pessina:

    Rosalind Brewer?Brewer relentless focus on the customer, talent development, operational rigor and strong expertise in digital and technological transformation are exactly what [ Walgreens ] needs as the company enters its next chapter.

  5. Bobby Waitman:

    On behalf of our students, staff, families, and community I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness, prayers and encouragement, as we begin the process of broken hearts, I am reminded that our greatest priority as educators is to meet the emotional, mental, social and physical needs of our students. This is our focus at this time - and every day that we serve our students.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for focus

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تركزArabic
  • концентрирам, фокус, фокусирам, съсредоточавам се, концентрирам се, сгъстявамBulgarian
  • enfocar, focusCatalan, Valencian
  • ohniskoCzech
  • fokus, koncentrere, fokusereDanish
  • Fokus, Konzentration, fokussieren, [[sich]] [[konzentrieren]], Epizentrum, BrennpunktGerman
  • ΣυγκεντρώνωGreek
  • fokuso, subcentroEsperanto
  • punto focal, foco, foco de atención, centrar, enfocar, enfoque, hipocentro, concentrarseSpanish
  • fookus, keskendus, epitsenterEstonian
  • tarkentaa, polttopiste, leikkauspiste, keskittyminen, keskittyä, fokusFinnish
  • concentrer, attention, épicentre, focaliser, mettre au point, se concentrer, se focaliser, foyerFrench
  • फोकसHindi
  • su, fuoco, concentrarsiItalian
  • מוֹקֵדHebrew
  • 焦点, 集中, 震央, 注目を集める, 濃縮, 震源, 絞る, ピントを合わせる, フォーカスJapanese
  • 초점, 焦点Korean
  • focusLatin
  • сосредоточува, концентрираMacedonian
  • brandpunt, focusDutch
  • ogniskoPolish
  • foco, enfoque, epicentro, focalizarPortuguese
  • сосредоточиться, [[фокальный, фокус, концентрация, концентрировать, сконцентрировать, средоточие, [[наводка]] [[на]] [[резкость]], фокусировать, сфокусировать, [[концентрация]] [[внимание, сосредоточение, сосредоточивать, сосредоточить, эпицентр, концентрироваться, сконцентрироваться, сосредоточиватьсяRussian
  • brännpunkt, fokus, skärpa, ställa in fokus, koncentrera, fokusera, ställa in skärpan, koncentrera sigSwedish
  • கவனம்Tamil
  • దృష్టిTelugu
  • odak, odaklanmakTurkish

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