1

accent

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

Definition of accent

1 :an effort in speech to stress one syllable over adjacent syllables; also :the stress thus given a syllable
  • a word with the accent on the second syllable
2 :a distinctive manner of expression: such as
a :a way of speaking typical of a particular group of people and especially of the natives or residents of a region
  • spoke with a Russian accent
b :an individual's distinctive or characteristic inflection, tone, or choice of words usually used in plural
3 :rhythmically significant stress on the syllables of a verse usually at regular intervals
4 a :a mark (such 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
5 music
a :greater stress given to one musical tone than to its neighbors
6 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
  • a plant used as a decorative accent
7 :a mark placed to the right of a letter or number and usually slightly above it: such as
a :a double prime
b :prime
8 :special concern or attention :emphasis
  • an accent on youth
9 archaic :utterance

accentless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of accent in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of accent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of accent

Middle English, "modulation of the voice," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, "modulation of the voice, prominence in pitch on a given syllable," going back to Old French, borrowed from Latin accentus (loan translation of Greek prosōidía), from ad- ad- + cantus "song," action noun derivative of canere "to sing" — more at 1chant, prosody
Note: The word occurs in Old English as accent in the sense "accent mark" in Byrhtferth's Enchiridion, but there is no continuity between this and later uses.

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

accent

verb ac·cent \ ˈak-ˌsent , ak-ˈ \

Definition of accent

transitive verb
1 :to give special attention or prominence to (something)
  • TV shows that accent youth
:to make (something) more emphatic, noticeable, or distinct
  • columns that accent the vertical lines of the building
2 a :to pronounce (part of a word) with greater stress or force :stress
  • Accent the second syllable of the word "before."
b :to mark with a written or printed accent

Examples of accent in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of accent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of accent

borrowed from Middle French accenter "to pronounce with greater stress," in part derivative of accent 1accent, in part borrowed from Medieval Latin accentāre, variant of accentuāre — more at accentuate

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


ACCENT Defined for Kids

1

accent

verb ac·cent \ ˈak-ˌsent , ak-ˈsent \

Definition of accent for Students

accented; accenting
1 :to give a greater force or stress
2 :to mark with a written or printed accent

2

accent

noun ac·cent \ ˈak-ˌsent \

Definition of accent for Students

1 :a way of pronouncing words shared by the people of a particular country or region
2 :greater stress or force given to a syllable of a word in speaking or to a beat in music
3 :a mark (as ˈ or ˌ) used in writing or printing to show the place of greater stress on a syllable


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