prominence of a syllable in terms of differential loudness, or of pitch, or length, or of a combination of these.
degree of prominence of a syllable within a word and sometimes of a word within a phrase:
primary accent; secondary accent.
a mark indicating stress (as (·, ·), or (ˈ, ˌ), or (′, ″)), vowel quality (as french grave `, acute ´, circ-mflex ^, ), form (as french la “the” versus là “there”), or pitch.
any similar mark.

regularly recurring stress.
a mark indicating stress or some other distinction in pr-nunciation or value.

a musical tone or pattern of pitch inherent in a particular language either as a feature essential to the identification of a vowel or a syllable or to the general acoustic character of the language.
compare (def 7).
often, accents.

the unique speech patterns, inflections, choice of words, etc., that identify a particular individual:
we recognized his accents immediately. she corrected me in her usual mild accents.
the distinctive style or tone characteristic of an author, composer, etc.:
the unmistakably brahmsian accents of the sonata; she recognized the familiar accents of robert frost in the poem.

a mode of pr-nunciation, as pitch or tone, emphasis pattern, or intonation, characteristic of or peculiar to the speech of a particular person, group, or locality:
french accent; southern accent.
compare (def 5).
such a mode of pr-nunciation recognized as being of foreign origin:
he still speaks with an accent.

a stress or emphasis given to certain notes.
a mark noting this.
stress or emphasis regularly recurring as a feature of rhythm.


a symbol used to distinguish similar quant-ties that differ in value, as in b ′, b ″, b ‴ (called b prime, b second or b double prime, b third or b triple prime, respectively).
a symbol used to indicate a particular unit of measure, as feet (′) or inches (″), minutes (′) or seconds (″).
a symbol used to indicate the order of a derivative of a function in calculus, as f′ (called f prime) is the first derivative of a function f.

words or tones expressive of some emotion.
accents, words; language; speech:
he spoke in accents bold.
distinctive character or tone:
an accent of whining complaint.
special attention, stress, or emphasis:
an accent on accuracy.
a detail that is emphasized by contrasting with its surroundings:
a room decorated in navy blue with two red vases as accents.
a distinctive but subordinate pattern, motif, color, flavor, or the like:
the salad dressing had an accent of garlic.
to pr-nounce with prominence (a syllable within a word or a word within a phrase): to accent the first syllable of “into”; to accent the first word of “white house.”.
compare (def 12).
to mark with a written accent or accents.
to give emphasis or prominence to; .
contemporary examples

her long, dark hair falls softly around her face, accenting her eyes, which are round and liquid.
hollywood’s bff nicole laporte october 25, 2011

historical examples

in the scherzo are chimes, accenting the tune of the dance, and even castanets, besides triangle and other percussion.
symphonies and their meaning; third series, modern symphonies philip h. goepp

“she was my mother,” said benedetto, accenting the word was.
the son of monte-cristo, volume ii (of 2) alexandre dumas pre

a possible variation of motive in band designing may be secured by accenting.
industrial arts design william h. varnum

by accenting the height of the ridges the loess also adds to the scenery of the county.
history of linn county iowa luther a. brewer

punctuation, hyphenation, capitalisation and accenting of common words has been corrected without note here.
memoirs of the court and cabinets of george the third, volume 2 (of 2) the duke of buckingham

what is the value of accenting the functional parts in clay design?
industrial arts design william h. varnum

i have never met him,” corrected elizabeth, accenting the “met.
the efficiency expert edgar rice burroughs

“i order you to leave petaca, at once,” said raul, accenting each word.
when the owl cries paul bartlett

“i am very glad to see you,” she said, accenting the adjective.
sons and fathers harry stillwell edwards

noun (ˈæksənt)
the characteristic mode of pr-nunciation of a person or group, esp one that betrays social or geographical origin
the relative prominence of a spoken or sung syllable, esp with regard to stress or pitch compare pitch1 (sense 28), stress (sense 3)
a mark (such as ˈ , ˌ , ´ or `) used in writing to indicate the stress or prominence of a syllable. such a mark may also be used to indicate that a written syllable is to be pr-nounced, esp when such pr-nunciation is not usual, as in turnèd
any of various marks or symbols conventionally used in writing certain languages to indicate the quality of a vowel, or for some other purpose, such as differentiation of h-m-graphs see acute (sense 10), grave2 (sense 5), circ-mflex
(in some languages, such as chinese) any of the tones that have phonemic value in distinguishing one word from another compare tone (sense 7)
rhythmic stress in verse or prose

stress placed on certain notes in a piece of music, indicated by a symbol printed over the note concerned
the rhythmic pulse of a piece or p-ssage, usually represented as the stress on the first beat of each bar see also syncopation

(maths) either of two superscript symbols indicating a specific unit, such as feet (′), inches (″), minutes of arc (′), or seconds of arc (″)
a distinctive characteristic of anything, such as taste, pattern, style, etc
particular attention or emphasis: an accent on learning
a strongly contrasting detail: a blue rug with red accents
verb (transitive) (ækˈsɛnt)
to mark with an accent in writing, speech, music, etc
to lay particular emphasis or stress on

late 14c., “particular mode of pr-nunciation,” from middle french accent, from old french acent (13c.), from latin accentus “song added to speech,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + cantus “a singing,” past participle of canere “to sing” (see chant (v.)). loan-translation of greek prosoidia, from pros- “to” + oide “song,” which apparently described the pitch scheme in greek verse. the decorating sense of “something that emphasizes or highlights” is from 1972.

“to pr-nounce with accent or stress,” 1520s, from middle french accenter, from old french acenter, from accent (see accent (n.)). related: accented; accenting.

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