Definition of "accent" []

  • The relative prominence of a particular syllable of a word by greater intensity or by variation or modulation of pitch or tone. (noun)
  • Vocal prominence or emphasis given to a particular syllable, word, or phrase. (noun)
  • A characteristic pronunciation, especially: (noun)
  • One determined by the regional or social background of the speaker. (noun)
  • One determined by the phonetic habits of the speaker's native language carried over to his or her use of another language. (noun)
  • The characteristic mode of pronunciation of a person or group, esp one that betrays social or geographical origin (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • The relative prominence of a spoken or sung syllable, esp with regard to stress or pitch (noun)
  • 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 pronounced, esp when such pronunciation is not usual, as in turnèd (noun)
  • 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 (noun)
  • (in some languages, such as Chinese) any of the tones that have phonemic value in distinguishing one word from another (noun)
  • Rhythmic stress in verse or prose (noun)
  • Stress placed on certain notes in a piece of music, indicated by a symbol printed over the note concerned (noun)
  • The rhythmic pulse of a piece or passage, usually represented as the stress on the first beat of each bar (noun)
  • Either of two superscript symbols indicating a specific unit, such as feet (′), inches (″), minutes of arc (′), or seconds of arc (″) (noun)
  • A distinctive characteristic of anything, such as taste, pattern, style, etc (noun)
  • Particular attention or emphasis (noun)
  • A strongly contrasting detail (noun)
  • To mark with an accent in writing, speech, music, etc (verb)
  • To lay particular emphasis or stress on (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "accent" in a sentence
  • "I tend to think of the term accent as used sometimes as a non-technical word for dialect, or as something used to talk about the speech of those speaking in a second or third or what have you language."
  • "Look at people like Henry Kissinger whose command of English far exceeds that of a majority of Americans, yet his accent is atrocious and he has never been able to improve upon it."
  • "Tommy -- I speak with a strong twang when I've been home for a while or when I'm on the phone with friends and family who are still in TX, but otherwise I don't think my accent is all that strong."