em·pha·sis n.; pl. Emphases
1. Rhet. A particular stress of utterance, or force of voice, given in reading and speaking to one or more words whose signification the speaker intends to impress specially upon his audience.
The province of emphasis is so much more important than accent, that the customary seat of the latter is changed, when the claims of emphasis require it. --E. Porter.
2. A peculiar impressiveness of expression or weight of thought; vivid representation, enforcing assent; as, to dwell on a subject with great emphasis.
External objects stand before us . . . in all the life and emphasis of extension, figure, and color. --Sir W. Hamilton.
n 1: special importance or significance; "the red light gave the
central figure increased emphasis"; "the room was
decorated in shades of gray with distinctive red
accents" [syn: accent]
2: intensity or forcefulness of expression; "the vehemence of
his denial"; "his emphasis on civil rights" [syn: vehemence]
3: special and significant stress by means of position or
4: the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note
(especially with regard to stress or pitch); "he put the
stress on the wrong syllable" [syn: stress, accent]
[also: emphases (pl)]