Meaning of unstressed


An unstressed syllable is the part of the word that you don’t emphasize or accent, like the to– in today, or the –day in Sunday. An unstressed person is someone for whom every day feels like Sunday.

When you pronounce a word with multiple syllables, like avocado (to choose a random example), you put more pressure on some syllables than others — in this case, the ah and the cah. Consider those syllables stressed. If they were people, they’d be biting their nails and pulling out their hair while sitting at a desk piled with paperwork. The vo and the do, on the other hand, would be unstressed — lounging with their feet on the desk, doing crossword puzzles.

Definitions of unstressed
  1. adjective

    not bearing a stress or accent

    “short vowels are


    (music or poetry) ending on an unaccented beat or syllable
    light, unaccented, weak

    (used of vowels or syllables) pronounced with little or no stress

    not emphasized
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    accented, stressed

    bearing a stress or accent
    emphasised, emphasized, emphatic

    spoken with emphasis

    (music or poetry) ending on an accented beat or syllable
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Word Family

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