focus

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Related to focuses: thesaurus, focussed on

bring (something) into focus

1. To make an adjustment so that a viewed object can be seen clearly, as with instruments that use lenses, or by digital or other means on a screen. You need to bring the vase of flowers into focus so that it doesn't come out blurry in the pictures. The eye doctor adjusted his machine and brought the eye chart into focus for me. Can you bring the footage into focus so we can see the perpetrator's face?
2. To cause something to be better or more clearly understood or seen in a new perspective. Her passionate speech about the environment really brought the importance of conservation efforts into focus.
See also: bring, focus

come into focus

1. To be seen clearly, as via adjustments to instruments that use lenses, or by digital or other means on a screen. No, that's not right—the vase of flowers still hasn't come into focus. The eye doctor adjusted his machine so that the eye chart would come into focus for me. If the footage never comes into focus, we won't get a good look at the perpetrator's face after all.
2. To be better or more clearly understood or seen in a new perspective. The importance of conservation efforts has really come into focus for a lot of the students, thanks to the Chelsea's passionate speech about the environment.
See also: come, focus

focus on (someone or something)

1. To direct and adjust the lens (of something) so that an image can be sees through it clearly. In this usage a noun or pronoun can be used between "focus" and "on." I can't seem to focus the camera on the tree—it's still all blurry. I told the cameraman to focus on the lead actress.
2. To center on or be dedicated to something in particular. Have you decided which topics the meeting will focus on?
3. To cause someone or something to center on or be dedicated to something in particular. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "focus" and "on." I think we need still need to focus our efforts on fundraising right now.
See also: focus, on

get into focus

1. To become able to be seen clearly, as via adjustments to instruments that use lenses, or by digital or other means on a screen. No, that's not right—the vase of flowers still hasn't gotten into focus. The eye doctor adjusted his machine so that the eye chart would get into focus for me. If the footage never gets into focus, we won't have a good look at the perpetrator's face after all.
2. To make such an adjustment so that a viewed object can be seen clearly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "get" and "into." The eye doctor got the eye chart into focus for me by adjusting his machine.
3. To be better or more clearly understood or seen in a new perspective. The importance of conservation efforts has really come into focus for a lot of the students, thanks to the Chelsea's passionate speech about the environment.
See also: focus, get

in focus

1. Visually crisp and clear, typically of something seen through a camera or other such adjustable device. If the vase of flowers isn't in focus now, it'll come out blurry in the pictures. When I told the eye doctor that the eye chart wasn't in focus, he adjusted his machine some more. Yeah, but if the footage isn't in focus, we'll never be able to make out the perpetrator's face.
2. Better or more clearly understood or seen in a new perspective. The importance of conservation efforts is now in focus for a lot of the students, thanks to Chelsea's passionate speech about the environment.
See also: focus

out of focus

1. Not able to be seen with clear, sharp definition. Someone go tell them that the film is out of focus! I don't need my glasses all the time, but everything is slightly out of focus without them.
2. Not able to produce a clear, sharp image. Who's been messing with my telescope? It's completely out of focus! I've tried adjusting it over and over again, but the projector is still out of focus.
3. Not clearly perceived, understood, or explained. Let's try to bring the discussion back to the topic at hand, because I think things are getting out of focus. As the professor continued rambling on, the point of her lecture started to get out of focus.
See also: focus, of, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bring something into focus

 
1. Lit. to make something seen through lenses sharply visible. I adjusted the binoculars until I brought the bird sharply into focus. The flowers were brought into focus by adjusting the controls.
2. Fig. to make something clear and understandable. I think we will have a better discussion of the problem if you will say a few words to bring it more sharply into focus. Please try to bring your major point into focus earlier in the essay.
See also: bring, focus

focus on someone or something

 
1. Lit. to aim and adjust a lens (including the lens in the eye) onto someone or something. I focused on the flower and pressed the shutter release. I focused on Fred and snapped just as he moved.
2. Fig. to dwell on the subject of someone or something. Let's focus on the question of the electric bill, if you don't mind. Let us focus on Fred and discuss his progress.
See also: focus, on

focus something on someone or something

 
1. Lit. to aim a lens at someone or something and adjust the lens for clarity. I focused the binoculars on the bird and stood there in awe at its beauty. He focused the camera on Jane and snapped the shutter.
2. Fig. to direct attention to someone or something. Could we please focus the discussion on the matter at hand for a few moments? Let's focus our attention on Tom and discuss his achievements so far.
See also: focus, on

*in focus

 
1. Lit. [of an image] seen clearly and sharply. (*Typically: be ~; come [into] ~; get [into] ~; get something [into] ~.) I have the slide in focus and can see the bacteria clearly.
2. Lit. [for optics, such as lenses, or an optical device, such as a microscope] to be aligned to allow something to be seen clearly and sharply. I've adjusted the telescope; Mars is now in focus.
3. Fig. [of problems, solutions, appraisals of people or things] perceived or understood clearly. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; get something [into] ~.) Now that things are in focus, I feel better about the world.
See also: focus

*out of focus

blurred or fuzzy; seen indistinctly. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; go ~.) What I saw through the binoculars was sort of out of focus. The scene was out of focus.
See also: focus, of, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

focus on

v.
1. To orient or adjust something toward some particular point or thing: I focused the camera on the car across the street.
2. To direct someone or something at a particular point or purpose: The company director wanted to focus the staff's attention on finding a solution to the problem.
3. To be directed at some particular point or purpose: The manager focused on the sales force's performance.
See also: focus, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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