Is it ensure, insure, or assure?


[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.
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.
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Examples from the web for accentuates
  • Their proximity to one another only accentuates the disparity.
  • It fits perfectly, accentuates all the curves, and minimizes all the flaws.
  • Ivy poses in a full-length one that accentuates her bodacious body.
  • It also accentuates the long, long streamers pointing directly away from the center.
  • She chose a linen-esque, long-sleeved sheath dress with an olive band at the waist that perfectly accentuates her tiny figure.
  • Gourmet food accentuates healthy and locally sourced produce.
  • The free-form pool accentuates its natural setting among the boulders.
  • But she's in a bathing suit, and that accentuates it.
  • The second level accentuates creativity in problem solving.
British Dictionary definitions for accentuates


(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
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Word Origin and History for accentuates



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
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