September 07, 2012
focus (noun)
\FOH-kus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : the point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) meet or from which they draw apart or appear to draw apart; especially : the point at which an image is formed by a mirror, lens, or optical system2 : adjustment (as of the eye or binoculars) for clear vision3 : a center of activity or interest
How do you use it?
After enough money was raised to build the new library, the focus shifted from finances to construction.
Are you a word wiz?

The English word "focus" comes from Latin "focus," a word the Romans used for a part of the home. What part of the home was it?

The Latin word "focus" first meant "hearth" or "fireplace," and later also meant more generally "fire." The offspring of "focus" include the words for "fire" in French ("feu"), Italian ("fuoco"), and Spanish ("fuego"). In the scientific Latin writings of the 17th century, "focus" reappeared to refer to the point at which rays of light refracted by a lens come together. Because rays of sunlight when directed by a magnifying glass can produce enough heat to burn paper, a word meaning "fireplace" turns out to be quite appropriate. The use of "focus" in English has broadened from the optical sense to mean "point of concentration" and "emphasis."
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