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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for accentuating
Historical Examples
  • Now it rose, now it fell, accentuating the silence dense about it.

  • “And nothing to you,” said Burchill, accentuating his habitual drawl.

    The Herapath Property J. S. Fletcher
  • I therefore played from c to e, accentuating e in particular.

    Lola Henny Kindermann
  • Figures 178 and 179 show a better form of enrichment by accentuating the outline.

    Industrial Arts Design William H. Varnum
  • I had half a mind to undeceive him, but he might have imagined I was accentuating my points.

    Love's Usuries Louis Creswicke
  • The maker had doubtless no thought of accentuating the feminine figure.

  • The searchlight still shot steadily, a golden bar of light athwart the darkness and accentuating it by contrast.

  • "And I—I was ignorant," exclaimed M. de Rnal, growing as angry as before and accentuating his words.

  • Princess Dolgoruki had made a similar request, and by accentuating his danger they both only succeeded in challenging his courage.

  • Often by accentuating her thinness, a woman can make an effect as type, which gives her distinction.

    Woman as Decoration

    Emily Burbank
British Dictionary definitions for accentuating


(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 accentuating



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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