Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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fo ks
parts of speech:
noun, transitive verb, intransitive verb
Word Combinations (noun, verb), Word History, Word Explorer
part of speech: noun
inflections: foci, focuses
definition 1: the point at which rays, esp. optical, come together, or from which they seem to radiate.
definition 2: the area of greatest concentration, attention, or activity.
Of course, others were involved, but our son was the primary focus of our concern.The focus of the nature program was the dire situation of the polar bear.They feel there should be a stronger focus on science in the elementary school curriculum.
similar words:
center, emphasis, region
definition 3: degree of clarity and precision, esp. in an image presented by an optical system such as a camera.
The focus is not very sharp in this shot, so her face looks a bit fuzzy.
definition 4: the state of maximum visual clarity and precision.
This is the only photograph that is truly in focus.
definition 5: an adjustment on an optical device that will sharpen the image viewed.
The focus on the microscope allowed her to see every detail of the cell.
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part of speech: transitive verb
inflections: focused or focussed, focuses, focusing or focussing
definition 1: to adjust (an optical device or the eyes) to produce a more distinct image.
With this camera, you'll need to focus the lens yourself.
similar words:
definition 2: to concentrate (attention or efforts) on a central point or task.
The teacher needed to focus more attention on the students who were lagging behind.
similar words:
center, concentrate, converge, nail
part of speech: intransitive verb
definition: to concentrate one's attention or activity (usu. fol. by "on").
I have trouble focusing on my work when I'm tired.The researchers focused on the question of causation.
similar words:
center, concentrate, fasten
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derivation: focused (adj.)
Word History
In Latin, focus means "hearth" or "fireplace." It entered English in the 1600s as word for the point where rays of light meet. The meaning "center of activity or energy" came into use in the 1700s. Because the hearth was for centuries the center of home life, it is not surprising that, today, several of the meanings of "focus" have something to do with a center or meeting point.
Word Explorer
  film, photography