ac·cen·tu·ate | \ik-ˈsen(t)-shə-ˌwāt, ak-\
accentuated; accentuating

Definition of accentuate 

transitive verb

: to make (something) more prominent or noticeable : accent, emphasize With her hair in tight curls that accentuate her pale beauty, she seems lit from within.— Peter Travers trying to accentuate the positive aspects of the program also : intensify accentuates the feeling of despair

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Other Words from accentuate

accentuation \ik-ˌsen(t)-shə-ˈwā-shən, (ˌ)ak- \ noun

Did You Know?

When you "accentuate" something, you put an "accent" (or emphasis) on it. So it will come as no surprise to learn that etymologists have traced "accentuate" back to "accentus," the Latin word for "accent." "Accentus," in turn, combines the prefix ad- with cantus, meaning "song." Other descendants of "accentus" in English include "accent" itself, as well as "accentual" ("of, relating to, or characterized by accent").

Examples of accentuate in a Sentence

He likes to wear clothes that accentuate his muscular build. let's accentuate the saxophones during this piece by having the sax players stand up

Recent Examples on the Web

Makeup artist Daniel Martin, the creative consultant for Honest Beauty, Dior Beauty brand ambassador and a longtime friend of Meghan’s, created her makeup look, which used minimal foundation to accentuate the Suits actress’s gorgeous freckles. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Meghan Markle Embraced Her Favorite Feature on Her Royal Wedding Day: Her Freckles!," 19 May 2018 Marking stairs and cabinet doors with bright-colored tape can also help accentuate edges. Kaya Laterman, New York Times, "Simple Home Improvements for the Vision Impaired," 13 Apr. 2018 Clad in a gorgeous floral dress that beautifully accentuated her baby bump, Cardi dove into the track alongside her fiancé. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Cardi B Joins Offset Onstage For 'MotorSport' Performance: Watch," 17 June 2018 That point is accentuated in most of the preceding 280 pages, and the many Americans who feel similarly will find nothing in this book to dissuade them. John Diaz,, "‘Yes We (Still) Can,’ by Dan Pfeiffer," 15 June 2018 The dress featured a three meter long lace train, which was accentuated by her matching veil. Cady Lang, Time, "25 Classic Royal Wedding Dresses That Could Inspire Meghan Markle," 3 May 2018 Mr Stoltenberg, a Norwegian whose job is to act as a kind of lightning-rod for storms raging inside NATO, tried hard to accentuate the positive. The Economist, "The American president lambasts his allies," 12 July 2018 This quality is accentuated by the raw, moving performances director Rachel Slavick coaxes from her ensemble, led by Marie Tredway's subtle but compelling take on Honey Girl. Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader, "Not One Batu feels torn directly from life," 5 July 2018 The snare drum death march and the psychedelic Jefferson Airplane-like flourishes seem to accentuate Dylan’s vitriolic, unforgiving words in a silly way, but Cher’s steadfast contralto grounds the affair. Jessi Roti,, "15 of the weirdest Bob Dylan cover songs to celebrate his birthday," 24 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of accentuate

circa 1719, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accentuate

borrowed from Medieval Latin accentuātus, past participle of accentuāre "to accent, stress," derivative of Latin accentus accent entry 1

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for accentuate

The first known use of accentuate was circa 1719

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More Definitions for accentuate


ac·cen·tu·ate | \ak-ˈsen-chə-ˌwāt \
accentuated; accentuating

Kids Definition of accentuate

: to make more noticeable Your blue shirt accentuates your eyes.

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