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verb ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent, ak-ˈ\

Simple Definition of accent

  • : to give special attention to (something)

  • : to say (part of a word) with greater stress or force

Full Definition of accent

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to pronounce with accent :  stress b :  to mark with a written or printed accent

  3. 2 :  to give prominence to :  make more prominent

Examples of accent

  1. <the town's promotional literature accents its vital role in American history>

Origin of accent

Middle French accenter, from accent intonation, from Latin accentus, from ad- + cantus song — more at chant

First Known Use: 1530

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



noun ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent, chiefly British -sənt\

Simple Definition of accent

  • : a way of pronouncing words that occurs among the people in a particular region or country

  • : greater stress or force given to a syllable of a word in speech

  • : a mark (such as ˈ or ˌ) used to show the part of a word that should be given greater stress when it is spoken

Full Definition of accent

  1. 1 :  an articulative effort giving prominence to one syllable over adjacent syllables; also :  the prominence thus given a syllable

  2. 2 :  a distinctive manner of expression: as a :  an individual's distinctive or characteristic inflection, tone, or choice of words —usually used in plural b :  a way of speaking typical of a particular group of people and especially of the natives or residents of a region

  3. 3 :  rhythmically significant stress on the syllables of a verse usually at regular intervals

  4. 4 archaic :  utterance

  5. 5 a :  a mark (as ´, `, ˆ) used in writing or printing to indicate a specific sound value, stress, or pitch, to distinguish words otherwise identically spelled, or to indicate that an ordinarily mute vowel should be pronounced b :  an accented letter

  6. 6 a :  greater stress given to one musical tone than to its neighbors b :  accent mark 2

  7. 7 a :  emphasis laid on a part of an artistic design or composition b :  an emphasized detail or area; especially :  a small detail in sharp contrast with its surroundings c :  a substance or object used for emphasis

  8. 8 :  a mark placed to the right of a letter or number and usually slightly above it: as a :  a double prime b :  prime

  9. 9 :  special concern or attention :  emphasis <an accent on youth>

ac·cent·lessplay \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of accent

  1. Regional accents are common in the U.S.

  2. She spoke with an American accent.

  3. The tourist had a foreign accent.

  4. He has a heavy southern accent.

  5. The word before has the accent on the last syllable.

  6. Put the accent on the first syllable of the word.

  7. The accents in the French word émigré show how the letter e should be pronounced.


First Known Use of accent


Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ACCENT Defined for Kids



verb ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent, ak-ˈsent\

Definition of accent


  1. 1 :  to give a greater force or stress

  2. 2 :  to mark with a written or printed accent



noun ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent\

Definition of accent

  1. 1 :  a way of pronouncing words shared by the people of a particular country or region

  2. 2 :  greater stress or force given to a syllable of a word in speaking or to a beat in music

  3. 3 :  a mark (as ˈ or ˌ) used in writing or printing to show the place of greater stress on a syllable

Seen and Heard

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February 9, 2016

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