accentuate

verb
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

Beadnose, for example, was seated in her end-of-summer portrait in a girth-accentuating position that some observers compared to a Hershey’s Kiss, while other bears were shown standing. Karin Brulliard, The Seattle Times, "America’s fattest bear has now been crowned," 9 Oct. 2018 Use color to accentuate the architecture in your home. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "All the Design Lessons We Learned From Bobby Berk on Season 3 of 'Queer Eye'," 16 Mar. 2019 The talks are likely to accentuate the continuing divisions within the U.S. government. WSJ, "U.S., China to Resume Trade Talks as Tariffs Bite," 16 Aug. 2018 The single coil middle and neck pickups are composed of separate proprietary blends of alnico magnets tailored to accentuate the frequencies of each string. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "The New Fender Strat Still Reigns Supreme," 27 Apr. 2017 These days, there are countless size-inclusive swim brands like Old Navy, Swimsuits for All, and Target that are carrying a variety of fashion-forward styles in a range of sizes that will flatter and accentuate your curves. Allure, "The 25 Best Plus-Size Swimsuits and Bikinis to Buy This Summer," 10 Apr. 2019 Dewan paired her oversize, brilliant-blue denim jacket with a frilly maxi dress, making the petite star look taller and accentuating her shape. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Nails Everyday Casual In a Studded Bag and Patterned Ankle Boots," 24 Jan. 2019 The high-profile attorney arrived wearing a bright Oscar de la Renta belted tweed peplum jacket accentuated with a belt, and a matching skirt. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney Wears Oscar de la Renta at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Norway," 10 Dec. 2018 Full-length styles tend to bunch up below or at the ankle, which is uncomfortable, can interfere with my workouts, and accentuates my shorter-than-average legs. Talia Abbas, SELF, "I’m 5'1" and These Are 12 of My Favorite Cropped and Capri Leggings," 17 Nov. 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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Statistics for accentuate

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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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

accentuate

verb
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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