• Accent


    • noun:RP enPR: ăkʹsÉ™nt, IPA: /ˈæk.sÉ™nt/US enPR: ăkʹsÄ•nt, IPA: /ˈæk.sÉ›nt/
    • verb:RP enPR: ăk-sÄ•ntʹ, IPA: /ækˈsÉ›nt/US enPR: ăk-sÄ•ntʹ, IPA: /ækˈsÉ›nt/, /ˈæk.sÉ›nt/


    First attested in the late 14th century. (The "decorative" sense is first attested in 1972.) From Middle French accent, from Old French acent, from Latin accentus, formed from ad + cantus ("song") with a vowel change.

    Full definition of accent



    (plural accents)
    1. (linguistics) A higher-pitched or stronger articulation of a particular syllable of a word or phrase in order to distinguish it from the others or to emphasize it.In the word "careful", the accent is placed on the first syllable.
    2. (figuratively) Emphasis or importance in general.At this hotel, the accent is on luxury.
    3. (orthography) A mark or character used in writing, in order to indicate the place of the spoken accent, or to indicate the nature or quality of the vowel marked.The name Cézanne is written with an acute accent.
    4. (modulation of the voice)(linguistics) Modulation of the voice in speaking; the manner of speaking or pronouncing; a peculiar or characteristic modification of the voice, expressing emotion; tone.a foreign accent; a French or a German accent
      • 1608, William Shakespeare, , II-iiI know, sir, I am no flatterer: he that beguiled you in a plain accent was a plain knave; which for my part I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to 't.
      • 1696, Matthew Prior, "From Celia to Damon", in Poems on Several OccasionsThe tender Accent of a Woman's Cry
        Will pass unheard, will unregarded die;
    5. A word; a significant tone or sound.
    6. (usually plural only) Expressions in general; speech.
      • DrydenWinds! on your wings to Heaven her accents bear,
        Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear.
    7. (prosody, poetry) Stress laid on certain syllables of a verse.
    8. (music) A regularly recurring stress upon the tone to mark the beginning, and, more feebly, the third part of the measure.
    9. (music) A special emphasis of a tone, even in the weaker part of the measure.
    10. (music) The rhythmical accent, which marks phrases and sections of a period.
    11. (music) The expressive emphasis and shading of a passage.
    12. (music) A mark used to represent specific stress on a note.
    13. (mathematics) A mark placed at the right hand of a letter, and a little above it, to distinguish magnitudes of a similar kind expressed by the same letter, but differing in value, as y', y''.
    14. (geometry) A mark at the right hand of a number, indicating minutes of a degree, seconds, etc., as in 12' 27'', meaning twelve minutes and twenty-seven seconds.
    15. (engineering) A mark used to denote feet and inches, as in 6' 10'', meaning six feet ten inches.
    16. Emphasis laid on a part of an artistic design or composition; an emphasized detail, in particular a detail in sharp contrast to its surroundings.
    17. A very small gemstone set into a piece of jewellery.
    18. A distinctive feature or quality.
    19. (archaic) Utterance.


    1. (transitive) To express the accent of vocally; to utter with accent.
    2. (transitive) To mark emphatically; to emphasize; to accentuate; to make prominent.
    3. (transitive) To mark with written accents.
    © Wiktionary