9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[foh-kuh l] /ˈfoʊ kəl/
of or relating to a focus.
Origin of focal
1685-95; < New Latin focālis. See focus, -al1
Related forms
focally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for focal
  • Although designed to focus solar energy towards a single focal point to boil a liquid and drive a steam generator.
  • The dining room's focal point is not the chandelier, as is often the case, but the window treatment.
  • Still the focal point of many interior living spaces, the latest fireplaces look anything but traditional.
  • There are neither the optical effects of varying focal lengths nor the full quality, since only part of the pixels have been used.
  • Note that they may quote shorter focal lengths, but they need to be considered relative to the sensor size to be compared.
  • If people knew this, their nutrition would become a focal point with marked results.
  • Carefully paint around the primary subject to establish the focal plane.
  • Another point that the article omits is that visa always becomes a focal point of diplomatic tussle.
  • focal mechanism for the main shock, and cross-sections of the two possible fault orientations.
  • At the center, a large glazed pot filled with perennials creates a focal point.
British Dictionary definitions for focal


of or relating to a focus
situated at, passing through, or measured from the focus
Derived Forms
focally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for focal

1690s, from Modern Latin focalis; see focus + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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focal in Medicine

focal fo·cal (fō'kəl)
Of or relating to a focus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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focal in Technology

1. FOrmula CALculator.
An interactive system written by Rick Merrill of DEC in 1969 for PDP-5 and PDP-8. It was a descendant of AID/JOSS.
Versions: FOCAL-69, FOCAL-1971, FOCAL-11 (for PDP-11 under RT-11).
2. Forty-One CAlculator Language.
The programming language of the HP-41 calculator line.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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