Meaning of accent


An accent is a stress or emphasis on a particular part of something, usually a word. Pronounce the word “doofus” with the accent on the first syllable: DOO-fuss.

Accent comes from the Latin accentus, which means “the intonation of singing.” We use accent for different kinds of emphasis in speech. In some foreign languages, the mark above a letter is an accent that signals how to pronounce it. If you accent something, like the “t” on the end of your name, you highlight it. In music, an emphasized note is accented. A regional accent is the particular way that people from that place speak.

Definitions of accent
  1. noun

    special importance or significance

    “the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red


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    focus, stress

    special emphasis attached to something
    type of:

    grandness, importance

    a prominent status

  2. noun

    the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)


    emphasis, stress

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    the use or application of an accent; the relative prominence of syllables in a phrase or utterance
    pitch accent, tonic accent

    emphasis that results from pitch rather than loudness
    word accent, word stress

    the distribution of stresses within a polysyllabic word
    sentence stress

    the distribution of stresses within a sentence
    type of:

    inflection, prosody

    the patterns of stress and intonation in a language

  3. verb

    stress; single out as important


    accentuate, emphasise, emphasize, punctuate, stress

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    background, downplay, play down

    understate the importance or quality of
    bring out, set off

    direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
    re-emphasise, re-emphasize

    emphasize anew
    bear down

    pay special attention to

    emphasize by putting heavy stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence
    point up

    emphasize, especially by identification
    drive home, press home, ram home

    make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something
    emphasise, emphasize, underline, underscore

    give extra weight to (a communication)
    pick up

    lift out or reflect from a background
    wave off

    dismiss as insignificant
    foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight

    move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent

    bring (a surface or a design) into relief and cause to project

    play down or obscure
    type of:

    evince, express, show

    give expression to

  4. verb

    put stress on; utter with an accent

    “In Farsi, you
    accent the last syllable of each word”

    accentuate, stress

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    type of:

    articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out

    speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way

  5. noun

    a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation


    accent mark

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    stress mark

    a mark indicating the stress on a syllable
    acute, acute accent, ague

    a mark (‘) placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
    grave, grave accent

    a mark (`) placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
    type of:

    diacritic, diacritical mark

    a mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation

  6. noun

    the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people

    “he has a strong German

    dialect, idiom

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    eye dialect

    the use of misspellings to identify a colloquial or uneducated speaker

    a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard

    a strong regional accent, especially an Irish or Scottish accent
    type of:

    non-standard speech

    speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community

  7. noun

    distinctive manner of oral expression

    “he couldn’t suppress his contemptuous

    speech pattern

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    a slow speech pattern with prolonged vowels
    type of:


    the manner in which someone utters a word

Word Family

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