n. pl. em·pha·ses (-sēz′)
1. Special forcefulness of expression that gives importance to something singled out; stress: a lecture on housekeeping with emphasis on neatness; paused for emphasis, then announced the winner's name.
2. Special attention or effort directed toward something: a small-town newspaper's emphasis on local affairs.
3. Prominence given to a syllable, word, or words, as by raising the voice or printing in italic type.
[Latin, from Greek, from emphainein, to exhibit, display : en-, in; see EN-2 + phainein, to show; see bhā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: emphasis, accent, stress
These nouns mean special weight placed on something considered important: an education with an emphasis on science; will study music with an accent on jazz; laid heavy stress on law and order.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.