I. fo ‧ cus 1 S3 W2 AC /ˈfəʊkəs $ ˈfoʊ-/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle focused or focussed , present participle focusing or focussing )
[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: 'hearth (= place for a fire in a house)' ]
1 . GIVE ATTENTION TO SOMETHING [intransitive and transitive] to give special attention to one particular person or thing, or to make people do this SYN concentrate
He needs to focus more on his career.
focus your attention/mind/efforts on something
She tried to focus her mind on her work.
focus (sb’s) mind/attention (on something) (=make people give their attention to something)
We need to focus public attention on this issue.
2 . CAMERA/TELESCOPE [intransitive and transitive] to point a camera or ↑ telescope at something, and change the controls slightly so that you can see that thing clearly
She turned the camera and focussed on Martin’s face.
focus something on something
He focused his binoculars on the building opposite.
3 . EYES [intransitive and transitive] if your eyes focus, or if you focus your eyes, you look at something and can see it clearly
All eyes focussed on her.
His eyes were focussed straight ahead.
4 . LIGHT [transitive] if you focus beams of light, you aim them onto a particular place
II. focus 2 S3 W2 AC BrE AmE noun
1 . [singular] the thing, person, situation etc that people pay special attention to ⇨ focal :
The focus of recent research has been on environmental issues.
The war in Afghanistan had become the focus of media attention.
The focus of interest in the series is what goes on in everyday life.
Another focus of feminist debate has been the film industry.
I shall now turn to the main focus of this essay.
Eggs became the focus for the food poisoning scare.
The focus of the conference shifted from population growth to the education of women.
2 . [uncountable] if your focus is on something, that is the thing you are giving most attention to
Our main focus is on helping people get back into work.
a shift of focus
3 . come into focus/bring something into focus if something comes into focus, or you bring it into focus, people start to talk about it and pay attention to it:
These issues have recently come into sharp focus (=people have started to talk about them a lot) .
4 . in focus/out of focus if a photograph or an instrument such as a camera is in focus, you can see the picture clearly. If it is out of focus, you cannot see the picture clearly.
5 . [uncountable] the clearness of the picture seen through an instrument such as a camera:
He raised his binoculars and adjusted the focus.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
▪ the main focus
The main focus of our attention will be on providing an efficient service.
▪ the central focus (=most important)
The film’s central focus is the relationship between the two women.
▪ the primary focus (=main or most important)
The economic situation is likely to be the primary focus of the discussion.
▪ become the focus
When you give a talk you become the focus of attention.
▪ provide a focus
The church provided a focus for the community.
▪ change the focus
He changed the focus from general to specific issues.
▪ shift the focus (=move it to something else)
Opposition MPs accused the Prime Minister of trying to shift the focus onto other issues.
▪ the focus changes/shifts
The focus of the negotiations shifted to working conditions.
▪ the focus is on something
The focus is now on improving students’ communication skills.
▪ the focus of attention
In this section of the talk the focus of attention will be on statistics.
▪ a focus of interest
Animal behaviour has long been a focus of interest for scientists.
▪ the focus of debate (=the thing which people are discussing)
The strike became the focus of debate in the media.
▪ the focus of concern (=the thing which people are worried about)
The spread of the disease has become the main focus of concern.
▪ a change/shift in focus
Over the years, there has been a change of focus from treatment to prevention.