Definition of focal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfəʊk(ə)l/


1Relating to the centre or most important part: the focal symbol of sovereignty is the crown
More example sentences
  • But we do intend to put something back that we can all be proud of to make a new focal centre of the village again.
  • The third plot while without a central focal character is the most important thread: the coming of the Second Boxer Rebellion in China.
  • Dubey cuts the figures at the edges and at unusual angles to create focal interest in the compositions.
2 Optics Relating to the focus of a lens.
Example sentences
  • Huygens discovered the law of refraction to derive the focal distances of lenses.
  • Residual longitudinal chromatic aberration introduces a focal shift for any wavelength variation.
  • There are now Bifocal lenses, a type of contact lens design that includes two focal areas: one for near, one for distance.
3(Of a disease or medical condition) occurring in one particular site in the body.
Example sentences
  • The laryngeal inlet showed chronic inflammatory changes and the tongue showed focal congestion and mild inflammatory changes.
  • If CAV is present, then options such as coronary interventions may be used, depending on whether focal disease is present.
  • In 141 autopsies of people without focal neurological disease, 57 probably had Alzheimer's disease.



Example sentences
  • Grossly, the surgical specimen consisted of a 4.0 x 3.5 X 3.2-cm irregular, firm, tan, focally hemorrhagic mass.
  • Histologically, the blastomous tumor cells were present in diffuse sheets, which focally formed malignant cartilage.
  • The mitotic activity was focally brisk, with an average of 8 to 10 mitoses per highpower field in these areas.


Late 17th century: from modern Latin focalis, from Latin focus, or directly from focus.

Words that rhyme with focal

bifocal, local, univocal, varifocal, vocal, yokel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: focal

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