- regularly recurring stress.
- a mark indicating stress or some other distinction in pronunciation or value.
- the unique speech patterns, inflections, choice of words, etc., that identify a particular individual: We recognized his accents immediately. She corrected me in her usual mild accents.
- the distinctive style or tone characteristic of an author, composer, etc.: the unmistakably Brahmsian accents of the sonata; She recognized the familiar accents of Robert Frost in the poem.
- a stress or emphasis given to certain notes.
- a mark noting this.
- stress or emphasis regularly recurring as a feature of rhythm.
- a symbol used to distinguish similar quantities that differ in value, as in b′, b″, b‴ (called b prime, b second or b double prime, b third or b triple prime, respectively).
- a symbol used to indicate a particular unit of measure, as feet (′) or inches (″), minutes (′) or seconds (″).
- a symbol used to indicate the order of a derivative of a function in calculus, as f′ (called f prime) is the first derivative of a function f.
verb (used with object)
Origin of accent
- stress placed on certain notes in a piece of music, indicated by a symbol printed over the note concerned
- the rhythmic pulse of a piece or passage, usually represented as the stress on the first beat of each barSee also syncopation
verb (ækˈsɛnt) (tr)
Word Origin for accent
late 14c., "particular mode of pronunciation," from Middle French accent, from Old French acent (13c.), from Latin accentus "song added to speech," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + cantus "a singing," past participle of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Loan-translation of Greek prosoidia, from pros- "to" + oide "song," which apparently described the pitch scheme in Greek verse. The decorating sense of "something that emphasizes or highlights" is from 1972.
"to pronounce with accent or stress," 1520s, from Middle French accenter, from Old French acenter, from accent (see accent (n.)). Related: Accented; accenting.