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[em-fuh-sahyz] /ˈɛm fəˌsaɪz/
verb (used with object), emphasized, emphasizing.
to give emphasis to; lay stress upon; stress:
to emphasize a point; to emphasize the eyes with mascara.
Also, especially British, emphasise.
Origin of emphasize
1820-30; emphas(is) + -ize
Related forms
hyperemphasize, verb (used with object), hyperemphasized, hyperemphasizing.
misemphasize, verb (used with object), misemphasized, misemphasizing.
reemphasize, verb (used with object), reemphasized, reemphasizing.
superemphasize, verb (used with object), superemphasized, superemphasizing.
unemphasized, adjective
unemphasizing, adjective
well-emphasized, adjective
accent, accentuate, highlight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for emphasize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is little need to emphasize the difficulty of the task, twofold as it is.

    The Technique of Fiction Writing Robert Saunders Dowst
  • Race vanity then produces an effort to emphasize the race characteristics.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • He strode over to Tom and smote his hands together to emphasize what he said.

  • She raised one small, gloved finger to emphasize the narrative.

    Iole Robert W. Chambers
  • He might want to emphasize a long, low room by horizontal lines, or to accentuate a lofty one by verticals.

    Line and Form (1900) Walter Crane
British Dictionary definitions for emphasize


(transitive) to give emphasis or prominence to; stress
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 emphasize

1828, from emphasis + -ize. Related: Emphasized; emphasizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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