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accentuate

[ak-sen-choo-eyt]
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verb (used with object), ac·cen·tu·at·ed, ac·cen·tu·at·ing.
  1. to give emphasis or prominence to.
  2. to mark or pronounce with an accent.
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Origin of accentuate

1725–35; < Medieval Latin accentuātus intoned (past participle of accentuāre). See accent, -ate1
Related formso·ver·ac·cen·tu·ate, verb (used with object), o·ver·ac·cen·tu·at·ed, o·ver·ac·cen·tu·at·ing.re·ac·cen·tu·ate, verb (used with object), re·ac·cen·tu·at·ed, re·ac·cen·tu·at·ing.un·ac·cen·tu·at·ed, adjectivewell-ac·cen·tu·at·ed, adjective
Can be confusedaccent accentuate assent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for over-accentuate

Historical Examples

  • "One can over-accentuate the baseness of one's motives as well as cover it up," he suggested.

    The Beautiful Miss Brooke

    Louis Zangwill

  • Somehow, the Doctor's bluntness made him over-accentuate it,—particularly when there were listeners about.

    The Other Fellow

    F. Hopkinson Smith


British Dictionary definitions for over-accentuate

accentuate

verb
  1. (tr) to stress or emphasize
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Derived Formsaccentuation, 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

Word Origin and History for over-accentuate

accentuate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper