Word Study

**focus**| focus on | focused | focusing | focussed | focussing

# focus

## CIDE DICTIONARY

**focus**, n. [L.

*focus*hearth, fireplace; perh. akin to E.

*bake*. Cf. Curfew, Fuel, Fusil the firearm.].

- A point in which the rays of light meet, after being reflected or refracted, and at which the image is formed; as, the focus of a lens or mirror. [
*1913 Webster*] - A point so related to a conic section and certain straight line called the directrix that the ratio of the distance between any point of the curve and the focus to the distance of the same point from the directrix is constant. [
*1913 Webster*]" Thus, in the ellipse FGHKLM, A is the focus and CD the directrix, when the ratios FA:FE, GA:GD, MA:MC, etc., are all equal. So in the hyperbola, A is the focus and CD the directrix when the ratio HA:HK is constant for all points of the curve; and in the parabola, A is the focus and CD the directrix when the ratio BA:BC is constant. In the ellipse this ratio is less than unity, in the parabola equal to unity, and in the hyperbola greater than unity. The ellipse and hyperbola have each two foci, and two corresponding directrixes, and the parabola has one focus and one directrix. In the ellipse thesum of the two lines from any point of the curve to the two foci is constant; that is:AG + GB = AH + HB ; and in the hyperbola thedifference of the corresponding lines is constant. The diameter which passes through the foci of the ellipse is the major axis. The diameter which being produced passes through the foci of the hyperbola is the transverse axis. The middle point of the major or the transverse axis is the center of the curve. Certain other curves, as the lemniscate and the Cartesian ovals, have points called foci, possessing properties similar to those of the foci of conic sections. In an ellipse, rays of light coming from one focus, and reflected from the curve, proceed in lines directedtoward the other; in an hyperbola, in lines directedfrom the other; in a parabola, rays from the focus, after reflection at the curve, proceed in lines parallel to the axis. Thus rays from A in the ellipse are reflected to B; rays from A in the hyperbola are reflected toward L and M away from B." [*1913 Webster*] - A central point; a point of concentration. [
*1913 Webster*]

**Aplanatic focus**.

*(Opt.)*

**Conjugate focus**

*(Opt.)*,

**Focus tube**

*(Phys.)*,

**Principal focus**,

**Solar focus**

*(Opt.)*,

**focus**, v. t.

To bring to a focus; to focalize; as, to focus a camera.

*R. Hunt.*[*1913 Webster*]## OXFORD DICTIONARY

**focus**, n. & v.

--n. (pl. focuses or foci)

1 Physics a the point at which rays or waves meet after reflection or refraction. b the point from which diverging rays or waves appear to proceed. Also called focal point.

2 a Optics the point at which an object must be situated for an image of it given by a lens or mirror to be well defined (bring into focus). b the adjustment of the eye or a lens necessary to produce a clear image (the binoculars were not in focus). c a state of clear definition (the photograph was out of focus).

3 the centre of interest or activity (focus of attention).

4 Geom. one of the points from which the distances to any point of a given curve are connected by a linear relation.

5 Med. the principal site of an infection or other disease.

6 Geol. the place of origin of an earthquake.

--v. (focused, focusing or focussed, focussing)

1 tr. bring into focus.

2 tr. adjust the focus of (a lens, the eye, etc.).

3 tr. & intr. (often foll. by on) concentrate or be concentrated on.

4 intr. & tr. converge or make converge to a focus.

Derivative

focuser n.

Etymology

L, = hearth

## THESAURUS

**focus**

adductor, approach, asymptote, attractant, attrahent, axiom, blurred, blurry, bottleneck, bring into focus, center, center of attraction, center of consciousness, center of interest, clear, collision course, concenter, concentralization, concentralize, concentrate, concentration, concourse, concurrence, confluence, conflux, congress, converge, convergence, converging, core, crossing, cynosure, distinct, elixir, essence, essential, fix, fixate, flower, focal point, focalization, focalize, focus of attention, fundamental, funnel, fuzzy, gist, gravamen, heart, hub, hypostasis, in focus, indistinct, inner essence, kernel, lodestar, lure, magnet, marrow, meat, meet, meeting, mutual approach, narrowing gap, nave, nerve, nub, nucleus, nuts and bolts, out of focus, pinpoint, pith, point of convergence, polestar, postulate, prime focus, principle, put, quid, quiddity, quintessence, radius, rivet, sap, soul, spirit, spokes, spotlight, stuff, substance, tangent, target, the nitty-gritty, unclear, woolly, zero in
## ROGET THESAURUS

**focus**

### Focus

**N**focus, point of convergence, corradiation, center, gathering place, resort haunt retreat, venue, rendezvous, rallying point, headquarters, home, club, depot, trysting place, place of meeting, place of resort, place of assignation, point de reunion, issue.

### Centrality

**N**centrality, centricalness, center, middle, focus, core, kernel, nucleus, nucleolus, heart, pole axis, bull's eye, nave, navel, umbilicus, backbone, marrow, pith, vertebra, vertebral column, hotbed, concentration, centralization, symmetry, center of gravity, center of pressure, center of percussion, center of oscillation, center of buoyancy, metacenter, central, centrical, middle, azygous, axial, focal, umbilical, concentric, middlemost, rachidian, spinal, vertebral, middle, midst, centrally.

### Furnace

**N**furnace, stove, kiln, oven, cracker, hearth, focus, combustion chamber, athanor, hypocaust, reverberatory, volcano, forge, fiery furnace, limekiln, Dutch oven, tuyere, brasier, salamander, heater, warming pan, boiler, caldron, seething caldron, pot, urn, kettle, chafing-dish, retort, crucible, alembic, still, waffle irons, muffle furnace, induction furnace, electric heater, electric furnace, electric resistance heat, open-hearth furnace, fireplace, gas fireplace, coal fire, wood fire, fire-dog, fire- irons, grate, range, kitchener, caboose, camboose, poker, tongs, shovel, ashpan, hob, trivet, andiron, gridiron, ashdrop, frying-pan, stew-pan, backlog, hearth, inglenook, oil burner, gas burner, Franklin stove, pot-bellied stove, wood-burning stove, central heating, steam heat, hot water heat, gas heat, forced hot air, electric heat, heat pump, solar heat, convective heat, hothouse, bakehouse, washhouse, laundry, conservatory, sudatory, Turkish bath, Russian bath, vapor bath, steam bath, sauna, warm bath, vaporarium.

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