March 30, 2013
emphasis (noun)
\EM-fuh-sis\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : forcefulness of expression b : the act or fact of giving stress to a word or syllable when speaking2 : special note made of or importance given to something
How do you use it?
The camp counselors put special emphasis on safety in all the camp's activities.
Are you a word wiz?

"Emphasis" traces to the Latin root "phainein," meaning "to show." What other word do you think comes from the same root?

Like "emphasis," the word "phase" traces back to the Latin root "phainein." Two other members of the "phainein" family are "fancy" and "diaphanous." None of these words have much else in common with "emphasis," but they do all have something to do with showing. In reference to the moon, "phase" means the changing amount that shows as it orbits around the earth. One of the earliest uses of the noun "fancy" was for something that shows or that someone sees but that is not really there. And if you call something "diaphanous," that means you can see through it or it shows through.
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