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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)

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.

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."