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 accentuate (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 Though the high-cut bottoms accentuate all the right curves, their broad elastic band might dig uncomfortably for some. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 17 July 2021 The rear profile might look a bit small to integrate various design elements, but Chevy has done a great job of putting together each component including the aggressive taillights which in a way further accentuate the whole character of the car. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 6 July 2021 The sky was a hazy dark blue, a common sight on moonlit nights in South Florida, where the clouds and humidity accentuate the glow of city lights. Washington Post, 26 June 2021 Of course, Cline has full lips naturally, but these three extra steps — lining, plumping, and glossing — helps accentuate them for a result that will surely go down in Best Kiss history. Megan Decker,, 17 May 2021 For Meghan's May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, makeup artist and friend Daniel Martin used minimal foundation to accentuate the bride's gorgeous freckles. Stephanie Petit,, 23 June 2021 The best brands find a way to accentuate the most endearing human traits. Pankaj Srivastava, Forbes, 17 June 2021 The family rely on a hanging light fixture from Italy’s Flos to accentuate the double-height ceiling. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, 16 June 2021 Wang, on the other hand, likes to play with different blending techniques that accentuate shockingly vivid colors. Michella Oré, Allure, 14 May 2021

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

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accentuate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on accentuate

Nglish: Translation of accentuate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accentuate for Arabic Speakers


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