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focus - definition and synonyms

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noun     focus pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
pluralfocuses or foci
  1. 1
    [singular] the thing that people are concentrating on or paying particular attention to

    We seem to agree on which areas need special focus.

    focus of:

    At this point, the focus of the war moved to the Eastern Front.

    The main focus of the discussion was the way in which women are portrayed in advertising.

    focus for:

    We have chosen six communities as the focus for our study.

    focus of attention:

    The teaching of basic mathematics has been a particular focus of our attention.

    focus of concern:

    The oil crisis became the focus of Western concern in the early 1970s.

  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] particular attention paid to something
    focus on:

    I’d like to see more focus on economic policy.

    strong/sharp focus:

    The school puts a strong focus on academic achievement.

    greater focus:

    The report calls for greater focus on the needs of the poor.

    shift/change/move the focus:

    They are trying to shift the focus more toward domestic policy.

    bring/throw something into focus (=make people pay particular attention to it):

    The issue of pedestrian safety has been brought sharply into focus this week.

  3. 3
    [singular/uncountable] the act of concentrating on a particular goal and not wasting time or energy on other things

    Each course unit has a very clear focus.

    I think this marketing campaign has lost its focus.

    lack focus:

    A lot of young adults seem to lack focus in their lives.

  4. 4
    [uncountable] the state of being able to be seen clearly
    in focus (=able to be seen clearly):

    Some of the photographs aren’t quite in focus.

    come into focus (=start to be seen clearly):

    Dad’s face gradually came into focus in the viewfinder.

    out of focus (=not able to be seen clearly):

    Some of the shots seemed to be out of focus.

    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] the part of a camera, telescope, microscope, etc. that you turn until you can see something clearly
  5. 5
    [countable] physics a focal point
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