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 Soap’s chemistry helps remove microorganisms from our hands by accentuating the slippery properties of our own skin. Michelle Sconce Massaquoi, The Conversation, "Why hand-washing really is as important as doctors say," 3 Mar. 2020 But unibrows were actually considered alluring for both sexes, and were often accentuated with kohl. Marianna Cerini, CNN, "Why women feel pressured to shave," 3 Mar. 2020 The sophisticated, ultra-modern interior features smart recessed lighting throughout the first floor, which illuminates and accentuates every intriguing architectural angle. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "$5M Lake Houston-area Huffman home features volleyball court, vast acreage," 24 Feb. 2020 The same excruciatingly clear HD television picture that brought the liver spots on the oldest debaters’ faces into your living room also brought Buttigieg’s uneven 5 o’clock shadow, accentuating the age gap. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Las Vegas debate exposed Mike Bloomberg’s inexperience and Elizabeth Warren’s hunger," 20 Feb. 2020 Biographers in the 19th century wrote the histories of Great Men, talking up their achievements and accentuating their professional and social status. Sue Roe, WSJ, "‘The Man in the Red Coat’ Review: The Toast of Belle Époque Paris," 14 Feb. 2020 The garnish must reflect and accentuate the elixir within the glass. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, "When the white gloves come off: Behind the scenes at one of London’s most historic and upscale hotel bars," 12 Feb. 2020 The video shows Mike gently pawing at the mug, accentuating the textured look with his tiny paws all while his owner looks on in amazement. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "This Pottery Studio Shared a Video of a Cat Making Pottery and I Can't Stop Watching," 10 Feb. 2020 There were also eye-popping dresses with form-fitting silhouettes accentuating all body types, and denim pieces, a nod to his collaboration with heritage brand Jordache last fall. J'na Jefferson, Billboard, "All-Black Everything: Designer LaQuan Smith Dazzles With Fall/Winter 2020 NYFW Show," 9 Feb. 2020

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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Statistics for accentuate

Last Updated

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accentuate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accentuate. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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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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Comments on accentuate

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