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

But using shine or glitter can actually make a gorgeous statement and accentuate your unique eye shape. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How to Enhance Your Monolids, According to the Experts," 31 July 2019 But that has only galvanized many in the protest movement and accentuated their demands for an independent inquiry into police conduct. Ezra Cheung, New York Times, "Protesters Start Three Days of Civil Disobedience in Hong Kong," 30 July 2019 Augustine’s death resulted in less income and more responsibilities, accentuating, Saxton suggests, Mary’s anxious and somber nature, and deepening her already strong reliance on her faith. Marjoleine Kars, Washington Post, "Widow, slaveholder, mother of our first president," 25 July 2019 The rosé vinegar, made from the Spanish red grape Trepat, has a touch of sweetness softening its acidic bite and accentuating its florality. Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit, "This Rosé Vinegar Is a Serious Upgrade at a Miraculous Price," 20 July 2019 Nike provided the court with the initial sketch that Leonard provided the company, which looks like an amateur or child-like tracing in pen of his large hand, with his initials and jersey number accentuated., "Nike countersues NBA star Kawhi Leonard, wants federal case bounced to Oregon," 19 July 2019 This 1975 series of screenprint portraits of drag queens recruited from the Gilded Grape, a New York drag bar, is all glam, with blots of color like spotlights accentuating already over-the-top makeup. Cate Mcquaid,, "Sweetness, ferocity, and sparkle in portrait photos since Stonewall," 18 July 2019 Societies will adopt these devices in ways most compatible with their cultures, in some cases accentuating cultural differences. The Atlantic, "The Metamorphosis," 11 July 2019 But afterward, Karen ditches a few essential pieces of her original look: the lipstick, which accentuates her lips, and the necklace, which draws attention to her breasts. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Mrs. Wheeler's Second Pool Outfit in Stranger Things Proves She's Done With Billy for Good," 11 July 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

18 Aug 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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