to give emphasis or prominence to.
to mark or pronounce with an .
Contemporary Examples

Social forces in Britain today will accentuate these trends.
The Downside of Brit-Bashing Joel Kotkin June 15, 2010

A situation like the current one is likely to accentuate his weakness.
After the Israel Synagogue Massacre: A New Intifada? Michael Tomasky November 18, 2014

With the lines drawn for November, Republicans tended to accentuate the positive.
African-Americans Nowhere to Be Found in Romney’s Orbit Harry Siegel, Ben Jacobs April 10, 2012

In the film, Cattrall carries an extra 20 pounds and does everything to accentuate her age.
Kim Cattrall Strips Down Gina Piccalo April 6, 2011

And we have every reason for this split to continue and accentuate itself tonight.
The Old and White vs. The Young and Brown Matthew Zeitlin November 6, 2012

Historical Examples

Though Ruth was very much annoyed, the incident seemingly served to accentuate Winfield’s enjoyment.
Lavender and Old Lace Myrtle Reed

A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.
The Devil’s Dictionary Ambrose Bierce

He might want to emphasize a long, low room by horizontal lines, or to accentuate a lofty one by verticals.
Line and Form (1900) Walter Crane

But this only appeared to accentuate the profound stillness.
Snow-Bound at Eagle’s Bret Harte

They were called from their cells merely to accentuate his disgrace.
The Jesuits, 1534-1921 Thomas J. Campbell

(transitive) to stress or emphasize

1731, from Medieval Latin accentuatus, past participle of accentuare “to accent,” from Latin accentus (see accent (n.)). Originally “to pronounce with an accent;” meaning “emphasize” is recorded from 1865.

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

[“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” 1944, music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer]

Related: Accentuated; accentuating.


Read Also:

  • Accentuated

    to give emphasis or prominence to. to mark or pronounce with an . Contemporary Examples Her pixie haircut, a few months post-chemo, accentuated her ski-slope nose and flirty smile. The Stripper Who Lost a Breast Melissa Lion August 20, 2009 Historical Examples Each of the four actions of the muscles should be carefully distinguished and […]

  • Accentuating

    to give emphasis or prominence to. to mark or pronounce with an . Historical Examples I shall be able to cast a glance at my fifty volumes, tearing out the bad pages, accentuating the best ones. Balzac Frederick Lawton Now it rose, now it fell, accentuating the silence dense about it. The Speaker, No. 5: […]

  • Accentuation

    an act or instance of . something that is . Historical Examples The unit of displacement becomes the whole period intervening between any two adjacent points of accentuation. Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 Various If there is little inflection and no accentuation the result is bad. The Strand Magazine Various Otherwise the original has been […]

  • Accentuator

    Electronics. a circuit or network inserted to provide less loss or greater gain to certain frequencies in an audio spectrum, as a preemphasis spectrum. a person or thing that . accentuator ac·cen·tu·a·tor (āk-sěn’chōō-ā’tər) n. A substance, such as aniline, that allows an otherwise impossible combination between a histologic element and a stain.

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