Definition of focal in English:



  • 1Relating to the center or main point of interest.

    ‘tapestries in which birds or animals provide the focal interest’
    • ‘In the Maldives, the sea is the focal attraction - a perfect narrow crescent of a beach lapped by the lagoon-like Indian Ocean.’
    • ‘Radical challengers have a hard time appearing inevitable or focal.’
    • ‘But a better organizing principle - some kind of narrative or focal story, numbered points, whatever - would help us remember more.’
    • ‘Dubey cuts the figures at the edges and at unusual angles to create focal interest in the compositions.’
    • ‘At the 2002 World Cup he was focal to England's strategies.’
    • ‘The headlight also has a convergent lens which is focused in the vicinity of the second focal region so as to project this light patch on the road.’
    • ‘With this idea of perpetual motivation, the Internet has become the focal source/medium of the research.’
    • ‘The statement will acknowledge that the retail industry is changing and will stress the need for suitable locations to be found for large focal retailers.’
    • ‘Hence, we repeated our analysis, splitting our data into whether the focal bird was dominant or subordinate.’
    • ‘For comprehensive understanding, it is important to have focal and subsidiary awareness of ethical dilemmas.’
    • ‘They have a new, contemporary edge and are being used as accents or on single focal walls in a room.’
    • ‘The focal theme this time was ‘strategies for drought management and alternate cropping system in canal areas’.’
    • ‘We focused our analysis on a focal population receiving migrants from an infinitely large number of populations.’
    • ‘But we do intend to put something back that we can all be proud of to make a new focal centre of the village again.’
    • ‘Combinations of these types, such as oblique faulting, are depicted by variations of these principal types of focal mechanisms.’
    • ‘A focal outlet would also be set up in the Board for exploring the export possibilities for khadi products, adds Mr. Nandakumar.’
    • ‘The third plot while without a central focal character is the most important thread: the coming of the Second Boxer Rebellion in China.’
    • ‘To date, most of the work in this area has focused on repurchase intentions as the focal dependent variable.’
    • ‘Perhaps more important, excitation and photobleaching are limited to the focal region.’
    • ‘We performed region of interest analysis in two focal brain areas: the hippocampus and the temporal lobes.’
    important, main, principal, major, chief, primary, notable, noteworthy, outstanding, arresting, conspicuous, striking, noticeable, obvious, remarkable, signal, prominent, pronounced, predominant, dominant, key, crucial, vital, essential, basic, staple, critical, pivotal, prime, central, focal, paramount
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Optics Relating to the focus of a lens.
      • ‘Such focal adjustability may not be available in phakic lenses for at least four years.’
      • ‘Huygens discovered the law of refraction to derive the focal distances of lenses.’
      • ‘Meduna identified six patients with focal seizures in whom the brain focus was surgically excised.’
      • ‘There are now Bifocal lenses, a type of contact lens design that includes two focal areas: one for near, one for distance.’
      • ‘Residual longitudinal chromatic aberration introduces a focal shift for any wavelength variation.’
    2. 1.2(of a disease or medical condition) occurring in one particular site in the body.
      • ‘The laryngeal inlet showed chronic inflammatory changes and the tongue showed focal congestion and mild inflammatory changes.’
      • ‘If CAV is present, then options such as coronary interventions may be used, depending on whether focal disease is present.’
      • ‘Cranial vasculitis may lead to focal neurologic deficits.’
      • ‘In 141 autopsies of people without focal neurological disease, 57 probably had Alzheimer's disease.’
      • ‘Lung involvement ranges from fleeting focal infiltrates or interstitial disease to massive pulmonary hemorrhagic alveolar capillaritis.’


Late 17th century: from modern Latin focalis, from Latin focus, or directly from focus.