focus

Focus is something that camera lenses and sleepy students are always being asked to do. For cameras, it means finding a point where the subject is clear or "in focus." For students, it means paying attention.

Focus is all about finding a center — of a parabolic curve, of a lens, of a meditative state. In Latin, focus meant 'domestic hearth,' which just goes to show that not much has changed — since kitchens remain the focus of the modern home. Focus can be used as a verb, as in "I need to focus on my work, so I can play video games later;" and as a noun, as in "What is the focus of this essay? I can't tell, since the writer seems to be all over the place."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: focus

1
nv
the concentration of attention or energy on something
direct one's attention on something
2
nv
maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system
put (an image) into focus
3
nv
a point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges
cause to converge on or toward a central point
4
n
a fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: focus
1

n the concentration of attention or energy on something

“the focus of activity shifted to molecular biology”
Synonyms:
centering, direction, focal point, focusing, focussing
Types:
particularism
a focus on something particular
Type of:
absorption, concentration, engrossment, immersion
complete attention; intense mental effort

n special emphasis attached to something

Synonyms:
stress
Type of:
accent, emphasis
special importance or significance

v direct one's attention on something

“Please focus on your studies and not on your hobbies”
Synonyms:
center, centre, concentrate, pore, rivet
rivet
hold (someone's attention)
Types:
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absorb, engross, engulf, immerse, plunge, soak up, steep
devote (oneself) fully to
recall
cause one's (or someone else's) thoughts or attention to return from a reverie or digression
think
focus one's attention on a certain state
zoom in
examine closely; focus one's attention on
hear, listen, take heed
listen and pay attention
drink, drink in
be fascinated or spell-bound by; pay close attention to
incline
bend or turn (one's ear) towards a speaker in order to listen well
Type of:
cerebrate, cogitate, think
use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments
2

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

“in focus
“out of focus
Type of:
distinctness, sharpness
the quality of being sharp and clear

n maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea

“the controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion”
Type of:
clarity, clearness, limpidity, lucidity, lucidness, pellucidity
free from obscurity and easy to understand; the comprehensibility of clear expression

v put (an image) into focus

“Please focus the image”
Synonyms:
focalise, focalize, sharpen
Antonyms:
blear, blur
make dim or indistinct
Types:
refocus
put again into focus or focus more sharply
Type of:
adjust, correct, set
alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard

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

Synonyms:
concenter, concentre, focalise, focalize
Types:
refocus
focus anew
Type of:
adjust, align, aline, line up
place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel or straight
3

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

Synonyms:
focal point
Type of:
point
the precise location of something; a spatially limited location

n a central point or locus of an infection in an organism

“the focus of infection”
Synonyms:
focal point, nidus
Type of:
point
the precise location of something; a spatially limited location

v cause to converge on or toward a central point

Focus the light on this image”
Antonyms:
blur
to make less distinct or clear
Types:
refocus
focus once again; The physicist refocused the light beam"
Type of:
sharpen
make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper

v become focussed or come into focus

“The light focused
Synonyms:
focalise, focalize
Antonyms:
blur, dim, slur
become vague or indistinct
Type of:
adapt, adjust, conform
adapt or conform oneself to new or different conditions
4

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

Type of:
point
the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
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