Meaning of “emphasis” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"emphasis" in British English

See all translations

emphasisnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈem.fə.sɪs/ us /ˈem.fə.sɪs/ plural emphases

B2 the particular importance or attention that is given to something:

I think we should put as much emphasis on preventing disease as we do on curing it.
Schools here put/place/lay great emphasis on written work and grammar.

the extra force that is given to a word or part of a word when it is spoken:

The emphasis is on the final syllable.
Where do you put the emphasis in the word "controversy"?

More examples

  • Too much emphasis is placed on the desirability of being thin.
  • The school puts a lot of emphasis on teaching children to read and write.
  • You can never place enough emphasis upon the importance of safety.
  • Words are sometimes italicized for emphasis.
  • She placed the emphasis on the word 'soon'.

(Definition of “emphasis” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"emphasis" in American English

See all translations

emphasisnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈem·fə·səs/ plural emphases /ˈem·fəˌsiz/

special attention given to something because it is important or because you want it to be noticed, or an example of this:

[ U ] She paused for emphasis.
[ U ] In schools, the emphasis on programming has declined in recent years.

(Definition of “emphasis” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)