Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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fo ks
parts of speech:
noun, verb
Word History, Word Explorer
part of speech: noun
inflections: foci, focuses
definition 1: the point at which rays of light or heat come together or from which they seem to move away.
definition 2: the area of greatest attention or activity.
Volcanoes of the Pacific were the focus of the report.
similar words:
definition 3: An adjustment that gives a clear image of things viewed through a lens.
The focus on the microscope allowed her to see every detail of the cell.
part of speech: verb
inflections: focuses, focusses, focusing, focussing, focused, focussed
definition 1: to adjust to make a clear image.
Lee focused the camera lens.
definition 2: to direct or devote (one's attention or efforts) to a central point or task.
The sleepy student was trying hard to focus her attention on what the teacher was saying.
similar words:
center, concentrate
definition 3: to direct one's attention or efforts towards one thing; concentrate.
She ignored her little brother and focused on getting her work done.
similar words:
derivation: focused (adj.)
Word History
In Latin, focus means "hearth" or "fireplace." It entered English in the 1600s as word for the point where rays of light meet. The meaning "center of activity or energy" came into use in the 1700s. Because the hearth was for centuries the center of home life, it is not surprising that, today, several of the meanings of "focus" have something to do with a center or meeting point.
Word Explorer
  film, photography