focused; focusing; focuses; foci; focussing

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."

Definitions of focus
  1. noun
    the concentration of attention or energy on something
    “the focus of activity shifted to molecular biology”
    synonyms: centering, direction, focal point, focusing, focussing
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    a focus on something particular
    type of:
    absorption, concentration, engrossment, immersion
    complete attention; intense mental effort
  2. noun
    special emphasis attached to something
    synonyms: stress
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    type of:
    accent, emphasis
    special importance or significance
  3. verb
    direct one's attention on something
    “Please focus on your studies and not on your hobbies”
    synonyms: center, centre, concentrate, pore, rivet
    hold (someone's attention)
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    absorb, engross, engulf, immerse, plunge, soak up, steep
    devote (oneself) fully to
    cause one's (or someone else's) thoughts or attention to return from a reverie or digression
    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
    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
  4. noun
    maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system
    “in focus
    “out of focus
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    type of:
    distinctness, sharpness
    the quality of being sharp and clear
  5. noun
    maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea
    “the controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion”
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    type of:
    clarity, clearness, limpidity, lucidity, lucidness, pellucidity
    the quality of being coherent and easily understood
  6. verb
    put (an image) into focus
    “Please focus the image”
    synonyms: focalise, focalize, sharpen
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    blear, blur
    make dim or indistinct
    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
  7. verb
    bring into focus or alignment; converge or cause to converge (of ideas or emotions)
    synonyms: concenter, concentre, focalise, focalize
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    focus anew
    type of:
    adjust, align, aline, line up
    place in a line or arrange so as to be parallel or straight
  8. noun
    a point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges
    synonyms: focal point
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    type of:
    the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
  9. noun
    a central point or locus of an infection in an organism
    “the focus of infection”
    synonyms: focal point, nidus
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    type of:
    the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
  10. verb
    cause to converge on or toward a central point
    Focus the light on this image”
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    make less distinct or clear
    focus once again; The physicist refocused the light beam"
    type of:
    make (images or sounds) sharp or sharper
  11. verb
    become focussed or come into focus
    “The light focused
    synonyms: focalise, focalize
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    blur, dim, slur
    become vague or indistinct
    type of:
    adapt, adjust, conform
    adapt or conform oneself to new or different conditions
  12. noun
    a fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section
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    type of:
    the precise location of something; a spatially limited location
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘focus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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