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

While Chicago's offense accentuates the versatile Tarik Cohen, Montgomery offers a great combination of physicality and patience that fits the Bears' zone-concept runs. Conor Orr,, "Fantasy Football 2019: 16 Rookies Who Could Make an Impact," 4 July 2019 The second is the security imperative which has been accentuated by the fight against terrorism. Moses Khisa, Quartz Africa, "President Museveni has twisted Uganda’s constitution to cling to power," 21 June 2019 The lacquer-like finish is accentuated with darker colors, transforming an ordinary surface into a luxury design. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About High-Gloss Paint," 22 May 2019 The gusts also added a dash of runway-worthy movement to her full skirt, too, accentuating its sumptuous frothiness. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Diana Ross Shuts Down the Star-Studded Dior Show in Marrakech," 29 Apr. 2019 Always the fashion icons, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook were clad in classic black suits, accentuating their individual personalities through their colorful hairstyles — not unlike their memorable look at the 2019 Grammys. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "BTS Performs "Boy With Luv" and "Mic Drop" on "Saturday Night Live"," 14 Apr. 2019 Unless the Netherlands or Sweden -- the second semifinal takes place Wednesday -- can achieve the unexpected in Sunday's final in the same stadium, the US will retain its title, accentuating the country's dominance of the women's game. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "USWNT advances to Women's World Cup final with narrow win over England," 2 July 2019 There’s not been the kind of hearings on Beacon Hill designed to embarrass and accentuate problems. Joshua Miller,, "Is this the beginning of Charlie Baker’s second-term blues?," 2 July 2019 The estate is using the anniversary of Jackson's death to celebrate and accentuate Jackson's vast humanitarian work. Andrew Dalton,, "Tributes to Michael Jackson flow on the 10th anniversary of his death," 25 June 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

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


to complain fretfully

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