focus meaning, focus definition | English Cobuild dictionary

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  ( foci    plural  )   ( focuses    plural & 3rd person present)   ( focusing    present participle)   ( focused    past tense & past participle  )
The spellings focusses, focussing, focussed are also used. The plural of the noun can be either foci or focuses.     
1       verb   If you focuson a particular topic or if your attention is focusedon it, you concentrate on it and think about it, discuss it, or deal with it, rather than dealing with other topics.   (=concentrate)  
He is currently focusing on assessment and development...      V on n  
Many of the papers focus their attention on the controversy surrounding the Foreign Secretary.      V n on n  
2       n-count   Thefocus of something is the main topic or main thing that it is concerned with.  
usu sing, usu with supp  
The new system is the focus of controversy..., Her children are the main focus of her life.     
3       n-count   Your focus on something is the special attention that you pay it.  
usu sing, usu with supp, oft N on n  
IBM has also shifted its focus from mainframes to personal computers.     
4       n-uncount   If you say that something has a focus, you mean that you can see a purpose in it.  
Somehow, though, their latest album has a focus that the others have lacked...     
5       verb   If you focus your eyes or if your eyes focus, your eyes adjust so that you can clearly see the thing that you want to look at. If you focus a camera, telescope, or other instrument, you adjust it so that you can see clearly through it.  
Kelly couldn't focus his eyes well enough to tell if the figure was male or female...      V n  
His eyes slowly began to focus on what looked like a small dark ball...      V on n  
He found the binoculars and focused them on the boat...      V n on n  
Had she kept the camera focused on the river bank she might have captured a vital scene.      V-ed, Also V  
6       n-uncount   You use focus to refer to the fact of adjusting your eyes or a camera, telescope, or other instrument, and to the degree to which you can see clearly.  
His focus switched to the little white ball...     
7       verb   If you focus rays of light on a particular point, you pass them through a lens or reflect them from a mirror so that they meet at that point.  
Magnetic coils focus the electron beams into fine spots.      V n prep  
8       n-count   The focus of a number of rays or lines is the point at which they meet.     (TECHNICAL)  
9    If an image or a camera, telescope, or other instrument is in focus, the edges of what you see are clear and sharp.  
in focus      phrase   v-link PHR, PHR after v  
Pictures should be in focus, with realistic colours and well composed groups.     
10    If something is in focus, it is being discussed or its purpose and nature are clear.  
in focus      phrase   v-link PHR, PHR after v  
This aggression is the real issue the world should be concerned about. We want to keep that in focus...     
11    If an image or a camera, telescope, or other instrument is out of focus, the edges of what you see are unclear.  
out of focus      phrase   v-link PHR, PHR after v  
In some of the pictures the subjects are out of focus while the background is sharp.     

focus group        ( focus groups    plural  ) A focus group is a specially selected group of people who are intended to represent the general public. Focus groups have discussions in which their opinions are recorded as a form of market research.      n-count  
soft focus     
If something in a photograph or film is insoft focus, it has been made slightly unclear to give it a more romantic effect.      n-uncount  
In the background, in soft focus, we see his smiling wife.     
Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary  



1    bull's eye, centre, centre of activity, centre of attraction, core, cynosure, focal point, headquarters, heart, hub, meeting place, target  
2    in focus      clear, distinct, sharp-edged, sharply defined  
3    out of focus      blurred, fuzzy, ill-defined, indistinct, muzzy, unclear  
4    aim, bring to bear, centre, concentrate, converge, direct, fix, join, meet, pinpoint, rivet, spotlight, zero in     (informal)   zoom in  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
Something or someone that becomes the focus of others' criticism or blame
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