ac·​cen·​tu·​ate | \ ik-ˈsen(t)-shə-ˌwāt How to pronounce accentuate (audio) , 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 How to pronounce accentuation (audio) , (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 Their technical constraints helped accentuate this stylized look. Richard C. Moss, Ars Technica, "How Warcraft III birthed a genre, changed a franchise, and earned a Reforge-ing," 27 Jan. 2020 Adding a rookie phenom in June and another ace in July only accentuated what few didn’t already assume — Houston was again the class of the American League West. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros claim third straight AL West title," 22 Sep. 2019 He and his colleagues wanted to accentuate that individuality. Richard C. Moss, Ars Technica, "How Warcraft III birthed a genre, changed a franchise, and earned a Reforge-ing," 27 Jan. 2020 The Senate's rules for the trial, which required using a single camera on the speaker and didn't allow reaction shots of senators, only served to accentuate Schiff's message. David Bauder, Fortune, "Trump’s impeachment trial deemed not ready for prime time by television executives," 23 Jan. 2020 And don't complain—try to accentuate the positive rather than the negative. Michelle Profis, Country Living, "All of the Best Life Advice Betty White Has Ever Given," 17 Jan. 2020 Mayfield regressed in his second season, a year in which draft classmates Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen both had offenses built around them to accentuate their positives. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Browns gambled on hiring Freddie Kitchens in the first place and couldn’t afford to gamble on him again," 30 Dec. 2019 Beyond its elegant aesthetic served in coups or flutes, Champagne likewise plays well with others, making it a fine friend to bring to seasonal soirées, ready to accentuate everything from turkey and truffles to caviar and cake. Kat Odell, Vogue, "The Most Beautiful Champagne Bottles to Get and Gift This Holiday Season," 30 Nov. 2019 What is your favorite beauty/body feature to accentuate? Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Entertainment Director Cori Murray Answers 20 Questions About Her Beauty," 14 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for accentuate

Time Traveler

The first known use of accentuate was circa 1719

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accentuate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for accentuate


ac·​cen·​tu·​ate | \ ak-ˈsen-chə-ˌwāt How to pronounce accentuate (audio) \
accentuated; accentuating

Kids Definition of accentuate

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

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Comments on accentuate

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