I want to mean that even though I wasn't supposed to be in the meeting room, I was still forcefully occupying it.

I am trying to use emphatic as an adverb but not sure if this is correct usage.


adverb. in a forceful way.

My friend pointed that "she closed the door behind her emphatically" is a different use-case


What I am trying to imply is that even though I hadn't booked the meeting room, I was occupying it. I didn't leave until someone else who had actually booked the room asked me to.

So I used the room in an emphatic manner.

I understand I could use a better choice of words to describe this, but is this usage incorrect?

  • emphatically is usually applied to speech or gestures. However, literarily, I'd accept emphatically. – Lambie May 8 '18 at 13:40
  • I think "deliberately" and "resolutely" come closer to the state you describe (i.e., just being in the room). However, you could emphatically defend your right to be in the room, or emphatically resist anyone who challenges you there or comes to remove you. – Chemomechanics May 8 '18 at 14:31
  • Intentionally, stubbornly, obstinately etc. may be better choice. – mahmud k pukayoor May 8 '18 at 14:34
  • I'm still not clear what you mean. Did you use the room in an emphatic manner? Or are you emphatic about the fact that you used the room? They are different. – WS2 May 8 '18 at 15:25
  • @WS2 good point, updated the question :) – vedant May 9 '18 at 8:21

I would say it is incorrect, yes.

If you ‘emphatically occupied the meeting room’ it would mean that you moved around in it a lot, in an emphatic way, making lots of gestures.

I don’t think that that is what you mean to say!

‘Emphatic’ usually relates to a ‘form of expression’. It is the expression that is ‘emphatic’.

You could, however ‘be emphatic’ in your refusal to give the room to someone else. As in:

‘My refusal to leave the room was emphatic’.

Note that here, we are again referring to ‘your expression’ your ‘refusal’ is ‘your expression’ - ie your gestures, speech etc, which, being ‘emphatic’ - are emphasised - meaning ‘forceful, exaggerated or larger than life’.

‘I emphatically refused to leave the room’ is also ok - note thst it is the refusal (the ‘expression’) that is emphatic.

Again, if you try to say ‘I used the room emphatically’ it is your ‘use of the room’ that is emphatic - so here we imagine you prancing about in the room theatrically, making overblown gestures and speaking loudly.

‘He was emphatic in his occupation of the meeting room’ does work - but again it is ‘his expression’ that is ‘emphatic’.

Another way of saying that you used the room forcibly might be:

‘I camped out in the room, without permission, emphatically refusing to allow others to enter’.

Or, ‘I subversively occupied the room without permission, emphatically fighting off any would-be intruders’.

Hope that helps!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.