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 One jumpsuit had a crisp collar and midriff cutout placed to accentuate a high waistband. Washington Post, "Dreamy, confident shows mark London Fashion Week," 15 Sep. 2019 Like any type of shapewear, Kardashian West wanted the pieces to accentuate women’s bodies. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Kim Kardashian's Shapewear Line, SKIMS, Is Here! What to Know About Her Solution-Focused Designs," 10 Sep. 2019 Chris Solari, Graham Couch and Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press EAST LANSING — Mark Dantonio tried to accentuate the positives. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State's offense must show progress or risk losing fans — and a few games," 1 Sep. 2019 Of course, the fairgrounds and the fair, which was not held during World War II, have had ups and downs since 1941, but Gulmon is trying to accentuate the positive. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "The Cheery Farmer and other Santa Clara County Fair memories," 31 July 2019 The idea of using makeup to accentuate one’s features, rather than transform them, is central to its appeal. Sarah Todd, Quartzy, "Why getting dewy skin became a global obsession," 24 July 2019 Later, Morales convinced first-time Vee’s customer Dolores Gamboa to go short for a bob to accentuate her gray streak, while Gamboa’s daughter-in-law Sam Borroel had her own locks styled into a five-strand braid. René A. Guzman,, "The Jefferson-area salon cutting and curling for 71 years, Vee’s Hair and Spa," 26 June 2019 The shows will be held in theaters to accentuate Madonna's performance style. Michelle Lou, CNN, "Madonna and Bruce Springsteen both have new albums out today. It's like the '80s never went away," 14 June 2019 Most wore slicked back updo’s with intricate fishtail buns, accentuated by huge gold hoop earrings with bejeweled parrots and seahorses. Washington Post, "Naeem Khan launches his fashion collection at home," 11 Sep. 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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Statistics for accentuate

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

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 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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