accentuate

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The dress, which is from Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 1996 collection, transformed Kim into a walking optical illusion—accentuating her famous curves in the process. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian’s People’s Choice Awards Dress May Hypnotize You," 12 Nov. 2018 For instance, those with dry skin (hi, welcome to the club) should look for creamier formulas that hydrate dry, flaky areas instead of accentuating them. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "The 11 Best Hydrating Undereye Concealers for Dry Skin," 11 May 2018 To get this look use some curl-defining mousse to tame fly-aways while accentuating the natural texture. Adam Hurly, GQ, "Steal All Your Grooming Tricks from Ryan Reynolds," 19 Apr. 2018 Trump had prepared for the event by directing his workers to replace the clean boards that covered the once-grand building’s windows with dirty scrap wood, accentuating the decrepit state of the midtown eyesore. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth, raised to lead. Then, sharply different choices.," 23 Feb. 2018 Warning: Some sunscreens can make your skin appear shinier or oilier, thus accentuating your pores. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "11 Ways to Make Your Pores Look Smaller," 4 Dec. 2015 This mass plus-size retailer recently partnered with plus model, Tara Lynn, on a range of glamorous lingerie that plus women and femmes can feel beautiful in — from hip-hugging panties that accentuate curves to lacy bras that fit comfortably. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "9 Size-Inclusive Lingerie Brands to Support Instead of Victoria's Secret," 14 Nov. 2018 One of those things accentuated by the team’s increasing ability and desire to run the ball. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Doug Baldwin says he’s healthy, ball just didn’t go his way Sunday," 9 Oct. 2018 Blue rubber mulch slopes upward from the pool, extending the yard’s clean ultramarine look, all accentuated by aggregate coated with gray non-slip adhesive paint. R. Daniel Foster, latimes.com, "Before and After: A reimagined Midcentury design helps turn a home from frumpy to fabulous," 6 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accentuate

Share accentuate

Listen to Our Podcast about accentuate

Statistics for accentuate

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accentuate

The first known use of accentuate was circa 1719

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for accentuate

accentuate

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

Kids Definition of accentuate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on accentuate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!