To emphasize is to make something important, or stress it, like when you were little and your parents would always emphasize the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street. They told you again and again and again. And again.

The verb emphasize works when you really want to stress a point or give extra weight to an issue. Emphasize comes from words that mean “significance” and “to present or show.” A player who finally makes the varsity team might emphasize this achievement by always wearing his practice jersey — even off the field, or you might emphasize the importance of being on time by locking the door on latecomers.

Definitions of emphasize

v stress or single out as important

“Dr. Jones emphasizes exercise in addition to a change in diet”
accent, accentuate, emphasise, punctuate, stress
show 13 types...
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background, downplay, play down
understate the importance or quality of
bring out, set off
direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
re-emphasise, re-emphasize
emphasize anew
bear down
pay special attention to
emphasize by putting heavy stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence
point up
emphasize, especially by identification
drive home, press home, ram home
make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something
emphasise, underline, underscore
give extra weight to (a communication)
pick up
lift out or reflect from a background
wave off
dismiss as insignificant
foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight
move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent
bring (a surface or a design) into relief and cause to project
play down or obscure
Type of:
evince, express, show
give expression to

v give extra weight to (a communication)

“Her gesture emphasized her words”
emphasise, underline, underscore
Type of:
accent, accentuate, emphasise, punctuate, stress
to stress, single out as important

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