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

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, chicagotribune.com, "15 of the weirdest Bob Dylan cover songs to celebrate his birthday," 24 May 2018 To me, slipping on a pair is kind of like wearing your most comfortable mom jeans—the ones that accentuate your curves and your butt—on the inside. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "I Started Wearing High-Rise Underwear and Now I Have a Thing for Granny Panties," 28 June 2018 That ease-of-use is accentuated by the simple controls. Ty Brookhart, Outside Online, "You're Going to Want the Cake Kalk E-Dirt Bike," 25 June 2018 If anything, the dots are deployed to help accentuate and, indeed, define the abstract zones and the representational figures that are set against them. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Connecting the dots in Goldberg's variations," 13 July 2018 The goats’ cheese in the tart accentuates the asparagus-like grassy flavors in the wine. Carole Kotkin, miamiherald, "Puff pastry can be used in countless sweet and savory ways," 12 July 2018 And that type of tendency … just accentuates itself to everybody else on the team. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando Magic, point guard Isaiah Briscoe reach deal," 5 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

18 Aug 2018

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

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!