1

accent

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

Definition of accent

  1. 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. 2 :  a distinctive manner of expression: such asa :  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 accentb :  an individual's distinctive or characteristic inflection, tone, or choice of words —usually used in plural

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

  4. 4a :  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 pronouncedb :  an accented letter

  5. 5 music a :  greater stress given to one musical tone than to its neighborsb :  accent mark 2

  6. 6a :  emphasis laid on a part of an artistic design or compositionb :  an emphasized detail or area; especially :  a small detail in sharp contrast with its surroundingsc :  a substance or object used for emphasis a plant used as a decorative accent

  7. 7 :  a mark placed to the right of a letter or number and usually slightly above it: such asa :  a double primeb :  prime

  8. 8 :  special concern or attention :  emphasis an accent on youth

  9. 9 archaic :  utterance

accentless

\-ləs\ adjective

Examples of accent in a Sentence

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

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 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

play
verb ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent, ak-ˈ\

Definition of accent

  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2a :  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. 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.

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

play
verb ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent, ak-ˈsent\

Definition of accent for Students

accented

;

accenting

  1. 1 :  to give a greater force or stress

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


2

accent

play
noun ac·cent \ˈak-ˌsent\

Definition of accent for Students

  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

What made you want to look up accent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an incorrigible rascal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!