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focus - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive/transitive]     focus pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
he/she/itfocusses or focuses
present participlefocusing or focussing
past tensefocused or focussed
past participlefocused or focussed
  1. 1
    to concentrate on something and pay particular attention to it

    I know you’re tired, but try to focus.

    focus on/upon:

    We will focus upon three main topics.

    focus attention on something:

    Attention has been focused recently on the dangers of nuclear reactors.

    focus your mind on something:

    He found himself struggling to focus his mind on the discussion.

    focus solely/entirely/particularly/exclusively on something:

    Schools should not focus exclusively on standardized test results.

    focus efforts/energy on something:

    Efforts are now focused on cleaning up the beaches.

  2. 2
    to turn a part on a camera, telescope, microscope, etc. until you can see something clearly
    focus on:

    The television cameras were focused on the crowd.

  3. 3
    if your eyes focus, or if you focus your eyes, you look at something carefully until you can start to see it clearly

    It took a while for my eyes to focus in the dim light of the cave.

    focus your eyes/gaze on someone/something:

    Polly focused her gaze on Nathan.

  4. 4
    science if a lens or mirror focuses rays of light, or if they focus, they meet at a particular point
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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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