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Synonyms of focus in English:


  • 1 schools are a focus of community life
    center, focal point, central point, center of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, cornerstone, linchpin, cynosure
  • 2 the focus is on helping people
    emphasis, accent, priority, attention, concentration
  • 3 the main focus of this chapter
    subject, theme, concern, subject matter, topic, issue, thesis, point, thread;
    substance, essence, gist, matter
  • 4 the resulting light beams are brought to a focus at the eyepiece
    focal point, point of convergence
  • verb

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  • 1 she focused her binoculars on the tower
    bring into focus;
    aim, point, turn
  • 2 the investigation will focus on areas of social need
    concentrate on, center on, zero in on, zoom in on;
    address itself to, pay attention to, pinpoint, revolve around, have as its starting point
  • Reflections


    Focus is now the noun of choice for expressing what people used to mean by concentration ( Sampras's on-court focus was phenomenal) and emphasis ( Our focus is on satisfying the needs of our customers). Adjectivized, it seems often to serve as an approving synonym for driven or monomaniacal: He's the most focused warehouse manager we've ever had. As a verb, it seems isomorphic with the older to concentrate: Focus, people! ; The Democrats hope that the campaign will focus on the economy; We need to focus on finding solutions instead of blaming each other ; etc. Notice, with respect to those last two sample sentences, how the verb phrase to focus on can take as its object either a thing-noun ('economy') or an -ing word ('finding'), and how its grammar is slightly different in these two cases. With a noun, to focus on means 'to concentrate attention or effort on,' i.e., the direct object is built right into the verb phrase; but with -ing words it means 'to direct toward a particular goal'—there's always a direct object like 'attention/efforts/energies' that's suppressed but understood, and the -ing word functions as an indirect object. Given the speed with which to focus has supplanted to concentrate, it's a little surprising that nobody objects to its somewhat jargony New Age feel—but nobody seems to. Maybe this is because the word is only one of many film and drama terms that have lately entered mainstream usage, e.g., to foreground (= to feature, to give top priority to); to background (= to downplay, to relegate to the back burner); scenario (= an outline of some hypothetical sequence of events), and dialogue.
    David Foster Wallace


    in focus
    submit only those snapshots that are in focus
    sharp, crisp, distinct, clear, well defined, well focused
    out of focus
    the shots are slightly out of focus, which gives them an eerie quality
    blurred, unfocused, indistinct, blurry, fuzzy, hazy, misty, cloudy, lacking definition, nebulous
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