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focus
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Atlas Shrugged
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focus
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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as in: bring into focus; or out of focus Define
a state where something has come into view or can be seen clearly (Typically this is said of the appearance of an image or picture, but it can also be said of an issue or something else that get's attention; or of an understanding that become clear.)
  • But under it, he had felt a sneaking little hope, swift and furtive like the course of a cockroach: if that threat took form, it would solve everything, save him from decision, save him from signing the letter …. he would not be President of Taggart Transcontinental any longer, but neither would anyone else …. neither would anyone else…… He sat, looking down at his desk, keeping his eyes and his mind out of focus.

  • There are no more uses of "focus" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • The bridge collapse brought aging infrastructure into focus as a political issue.
  • The discussion brought into focus an important difference of opinion.

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unspecified meaning
  • Few people liked her face: the face was too cold, the eyes too intense; nothing could ever lend her the charm of a soft focus.
  • He had to say it; words were a lens to focus one’s mind, and he could not use words for anything else tonight.

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  • Rearden sat without moving, the muscles of his cheeks pulled tight; but his glance was indifferent, focused only by the faint pull of morbid curiosity.
  • His effort was focused on keeping his voice quiet; he could not control his words.
  • "Look, bud," said Bertram Scudder, his eyeballs focused approximately in the direction of Philip, "whether you like it or not, the Equalization of Opportunity Bill represents a great step forward."
  • It was not Taggart Transcontinental that stood as the focus of terror in her mind, it was not the thought of Hank Rearden tied to a rack pulled in opposite directions-it was Ellis Wyatt.
  • His mind was still focused on the crowd in the ballroom downstairs and on two figures in that crowd.
  • He stood in the middle of her living room, looking slowly around him; this was her apartment, the one place in the city that had been the focus of two years of his torment, as the place he could not think about and did, the place he could not enter-and was now entering with the casual, unannounced right of an owner.
  • The glaring arc lights seemed to pick it out of the mountains, to isolate and focus it, like a small stage on which every movement was naked to the sight of the unseen tiers rising in the vast, encircling night.
  • He was looking straight at the policeman, but he felt as if the focus of his eyes had switched to his side vision, and what he saw most clearly was Danneskjold’s face watching him with no expression, with no line’s, no muscle’s worth of feeling.

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  • Dr. Stadler focused his field glasses on the only thing in sight-on the blotch of the distant farm.
  • In the instant when he focused his lens, a goat was pulling at its chain, reaching placidly for a tall, dry thistle.
  • She saw his bleary brown eyes focus upon her without expression.
  • It took some time before Cuffy Meigs’ attention and bleary brown eyes could be drawn to focus on the person of Dr. Stadler.
  • She smiled: it was the hood that had been the immovable point in her field of vision, while the earth had gone by, it was the hood that had been the center, the focus, the security in a blurred, dissolving world …. the hood before her and Rearden’s hands on the wheel by her side …. she smiled, thinking that she was satisfied to let this be the shape of her world.
  • A radio receiver was playing a program of military marches broadcast from another studio, half-drowning the fragments of nervous voices, of hastily aimless steps, of screeching machinery being pulled to focus upon the drawing-room set.
  • Helplessness was a strange experience, new to her; she had never found it hard to face things and make decisions; but she was not dealing with things-this was a fog without shapes or definitions, in which something kept forming and shifting before it could be seen, like semi-clots in a not-quite-liquid-it was as if her eyes were reduced to side-vision and she were sensing blurs of disaster coiling toward her, but she could not move her glance, she had no glance to move and focus.
  • If to choose a person as the constant center of one’s concern, as the focus of one’s view of life, was to love-he thought-then it was true that she loved him; but if, to him, love was a celebration of one’s self and of existence-then, to the self-haters and life-haters, the pursuit of destruction was the only form and equivalent of love.
  • Taggart’s eyes seemed to focus, and he said, his voice louder, "Yes, of course.
  • His mother dragged her eyes into focus again and whispered, "Don’t abandon us, Henry.

  • There are no more uses of "focus" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: Turn your focus to question #2. Define
concentrate or look at
as in: The focus of our study is... Define
where attention is concentrated
as in: bring into focus; or out of focus Define
a state where something has come into view or can be seen clearly (Typically this is said of the appearance of an image or picture, but it can also be said of an issue or something else that get's attention; or of an understanding that become clear.)
as in: The camera focuses automatically Define
to adjust a lens to make an image clear
technical usage Define
Technical usage typically involves some sense of center or concentration such as:
  • physics — a point of convergence such as the point where light rays meet
  • geometry — a fixed reference point (as of a parabola)
  • geology — the point of origin of an earthquake
See a comprehensive dictionary for other less common meanings.

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