[n. ak-sent; v. ak-sent, ak-sent]
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 ´, circumflex ^, ), form (as French la “the” versus “there”), or pitch.
any similar mark.
regularly recurring stress.
a mark indicating stress or some other distinction in pronunciation 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 tone ( 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 pronunciation, 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 tone ( def 5 ).
such a mode of pronunciation 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 quantities 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.
verb (used with object)
to pronounce 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 stress ( def 12 ).
to mark with a written accent or accents.
to give emphasis or prominence to; accentuate.

1520–30; < Latin accentus speaking tone, equivalent to ac- ac- + -centus, combining form of cantus song (see canto); translation of Greek prosōidía prosody

accentless, adjective
accentuable [ak-sen-choo-uh-buhl] , adjective
nonaccent, noun
nonaccented, adjective
nonaccenting, adjective
reaccent, verb (used with object)
well-accented, adjective

1. accent, stress ; 2. accent, accentuate, assent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To accentless
World English Dictionary
1.  the characteristic mode of pronunciation of a person or group, esp one that betrays social or geographical origin
2.  pitch Compare stress the relative prominence of a spoken or sung syllable, esp with regard to stress or pitch
3.  a mark (such as , , ´ 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 pronounced, esp when such pronunciation is not usual, as in turnèd
4.  acute grave See circumflex 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 homographs
5.  Compare tone (in some languages, such as Chinese) any of the tones that have phonemic value in distinguishing one word from another
6.  rhythmic stress in verse or prose
7.  music
 a.  stress placed on certain notes in a piece of music, indicated by a symbol printed over the note concerned
 b.  See also syncopation the rhythmic pulse of a piece or passage, usually represented as the stress on the first beat of each bar
8.  maths either of two superscript symbols indicating a specific unit, such as feet (′), inches (″), minutes of arc (′), or seconds of arc (″)
9.  a distinctive characteristic of anything, such as taste, pattern, style, etc
10.  particular attention or emphasis: an accent on learning
11.  a strongly contrasting detail: a blue rug with red accents
12.  to mark with an accent in writing, speech, music, etc
13.  to lay particular emphasis or stress on
[C14: via Old French from Latin accentus, from ad- to + cantus chant, song. The Latin is a rendering of Greek prosōidia a song sung to music, the tone of a syllable]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1530s, "particular mode of pronunciation," from M.Fr. accent, from O.Fr. acent (13c.), from L. accentus "song added to speech," from ad- "to" + cantus "a singing," pp. of canere "to sing" (see chant). Loan-translation of Gk. prosoidia, from pros- "to" + oide "song," which
apparently described the pitch scheme in Gk. verse. The decorating sense of "something that emphasizes or highlights" is from 1972. The verb meaning "to pronounce with accent or stress" is first recorded 1530.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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