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3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Accent \Ac"cent'\, noun [F. accent, L. accentus; ad + cantus a singing, canere to sing. See {Cant}.]

1. A superior force of voice or of articulative effort upon some particular syllable of a word or a phrase, distinguishing it from the others.

Note: Many English words have two accents, the primary and the secondary; the primary being uttered with a greater stress of voice than the secondary; as in as'pira[bprime]tion, where the chief stress is on the third syllable, and a slighter stress on the first. Some words, as an'tiap'o-plec[bprime]tic, in-com'pre-hen'si-bil[bprime]i-ty, have two secondary accents. See Guide to Pron., [sect][sect] 30-46.

2. A mark or character used in writing, and serving to regulate the pronunciation; esp.: (a) a mark to indicate the nature and place of the spoken accent; (b) a mark to indicate the quality of sound of the vowel marked; as, the French accents.

Note: In the ancient Greek the acute accent (') meant a raised tone or pitch, the grave ('), the level tone or simply the negation of accent, the circumflex ( ~ or ^) a tone raised and then depressed. In works on elocution, the first is often used to denote the rising inflection of the voice; the second, the falling inflection; and the third (^), the compound or waving inflection. In dictionaries, spelling books, and the like, the acute accent is used to designate the syllable which receives the chief stress of voice.

3. Modulation of the voice in speaking; manner of speaking or pronouncing; peculiar or characteristic modification of the voice; tone; as, a foreign accent; a French or a German accent. "Beguiled you in a plain accent." --Shak. "A perfect accent." --Thackeray.

The tender accent of a woman's cry. --Prior.

4. A word; a significant tone; (pl.) expressions in general; speech.

Winds! on your wings to Heaven her accents bear, Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear. --Dryden.

5. (Pros.) Stress laid on certain syllables of a verse.

6. (Mus.) (a) A regularly recurring stress upon the tone to mark the beginning, and, more feebly, the third part of the measure. (b) A special emphasis of a tone, even in the weaker part of the measure. (c) The rhythmical accent, which marks phrases and sections of a period. (d) The expressive emphasis and shading of a passage. --J. S. Dwight.

7. (Math.) (a) 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[sec]. (b) (Trigon.) A mark at the right hand of a number, indicating minutes of a degree, seconds, etc.; as, 12'27[sec], i. e., twelve minutes twenty seven seconds. (c) (Engin.) A mark used to denote feet and inches; as, 6' 10[sec] is six feet ten inches.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Accent \Ac*cent"\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Accented}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Accenting}.] [OF. accenter, F. accentuer.]

1. To express the accent of (either by the voice or by a mark); to utter or to mark with accent.

2. To mark emphatically; to emphasize.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: distinctive manner of oral expression; "he couldn't suppress his contemptuous accent"; "she had a very clear speech pattern" [syn: {accent}, {speech pattern}]

2: special importance or significance; "the red light gave the central figure increased emphasis"; "the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red accents" [syn: {emphasis}, {accent}]

3: the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people; "the immigrants spoke an odd dialect of English"; "he has a strong German accent"; "it has been said that a language is a dialect with an army and navy" [syn: {dialect}, {idiom}, {accent}]

4: the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch); "he put the stress on the wrong syllable" [syn: {stress}, {emphasis}, {accent}]

5: a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation [syn: {accent}, {accent mark}]


1: to stress, single out as important; "Dr. Jones emphasizes exercise in addition to a change in diet" [syn: {stress}, {emphasize}, {emphasise}, {punctuate}, {accent}, {accentuate}]

2: put stress on; utter with an accent; "In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word" [syn: {stress}, {accent}, {accentuate}]

The dictionary definitions are retrieved from a local copy of two of the open source DICT dictionaries. Click here for the database copyright information. DEFINE.COM is registered as an educational NONPROFIT corporation. We aim to please around here. We believe in using positive reinforcement to get things done. We make suggestions that are intended to make life more enjoyable. We think about efficiency, automation, security, privacy, social and ecological responsibility and positive humanitarian ethics and values. We are benevolent. DO NO HARM is our motto.

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