variants: or hovering stress
Definition of hovering accent
: a distribution of energy, pitch, or duration in two adjacent syllables in some utterance of verse when a heavy syllable occurs next to a syllable bearing the metrical ictus so that for perception the stress seems to be divided or diffused nearly equally over both (as cornfield in the line “that o'er´/the green´/cornfield/did pass´”)
to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
Ask the Editors
- On Contractions of Multiple Words
- A Look at Uncommon Onomatopoeia
- Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
- Words from Greek and Latin Quiz Take the quiz
- Name That Thing: Animal Edition Take the quiz
- Spell It Take the quiz
- Word Winder's CrossWinder Play the game