"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ak-sen-choo-eyt] /ækˈsɛn tʃuˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), accentuated, accentuating.
to give emphasis or prominence to.
to mark or pronounce with an accent.
Origin of accentuate
1725-35; < Medieval Latin accentuātus intoned (past participle of accentuāre). See accent, -ate1
Related forms
overaccentuate, verb (used with object), overaccentuated, overaccentuating.
reaccentuate, verb (used with object), reaccentuated, reaccentuating.
unaccentuated, adjective
well-accentuated, adjective
Can be confused
accent, accentuate, assent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for accentuate
  • You can accentuate each line with an eyebrow pencil and literally draw anger, fear or horror into your face.
  • Regulators need to counterbalance the cycle, not accentuate it.
  • Yaged said he will be looking at opportunities in the digital space to accentuate storytelling.
  • Most people mentally accentuate their partners' better qualities.
  • Her job was to accentuate the dancers' ability to reveal new spaces around them.
  • Don't criticize his mistakes or accentuate his shortcomings.
  • Sound technical writers no longer accentuate the passive voice.
  • In all cases, I try to accentuate the positive.
  • Quiet, graceful illustrations accentuate the classic tale's nostalgic tone.
  • Be concise, engaging and accentuate your strengths.
British Dictionary definitions for accentuate


(transitive) to stress or emphasize
Derived Forms
accentuation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for accentuate

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for accentuate

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for accentuate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with accentuate