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accent

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v accent put stress on; utter with an accent "In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word"
    • v accent to stress, single out as important "Dr. Jones emphasizes exercise in addition to a change in diet"
    • n accent a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation
    • n accent the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch) "he put the stress on the wrong syllable"
    • n accent distinctive manner of oral expression "he couldn't suppress his contemptuous accent","she had a very clear speech pattern"
    • n accent the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people "the immigrants spoke an odd dialect of English","he has a strong German accent","it has been said that a language is a dialect with an army and navy"
    • n accent special importance or significance "the red light gave the central figure increased emphasis","the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red accents"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The accent that Mike Myers used for the character Shrek came from the accent that his mother would use when she was telling him bedtime stories when he was a child
    • Accent (Math) A mark at the right hand of a number, indicating minutes of a degree, seconds, etc.; as, 12'27″, i. e., twelve minutes twenty seven seconds.
    • Accent A mark or character used in writing, and serving to regulate the pronunciation; esp.: a mark to indicate the nature and place of the spoken accent; a mark to indicate the quality of sound of the vowel marked; as, the French accents .
    • Accent (Math) A mark placed at the right hand of a letter, and a little above it, to distinguish magnitudes of a similar kind expressed by the same letter, but differing in value, as y', y″.
    • Accent (Math) A mark used to denote feet and inches; as, 6' 10″ is six feet ten inches.
    • Accent (Mus) A regularly recurring stress upon the tone to mark the beginning, and, more feebly, the third part of the measure.
    • Accent (Mus) A special emphasis of a tone, even in the weaker part of the measure.
    • Accent A superior force of voice or of articulative effort upon some particular syllable of a word or a phrase, distinguishing it from the others.
    • Accent A word; a significant tone "Winds! on your wings to Heaven her accents bear,
      Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear."
    • Accent Modulation of the voice in speaking; manner of speaking or pronouncing; peculiar or characteristic modification of the voice; tone; as, a foreign accent; a French or a German accent. "Beguiled you in a plain accent .""A perfect accent .""The tender accent of a woman's cry."
    • Accent (Pros) Stress laid on certain syllables of a verse.
    • Accent (Mus) The expressive emphasis and shading of a passage.
    • Accent (Mus) The rhythmical accent, which marks phrases and sections of a period.
    • Accent To express the accent of (either by the voice or by a mark); to utter or to mark with accent.
    • Accent To mark emphatically; to emphasize.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n accent A special effort of utterance by which, in a word of two or more syllables, one syllable is made more prominent than the rest. This prominence is given in part by a raised pitch, in part by increased force or stress of voice, and in part (as a consequence of these) by a fuller pronunciation of the constituents of the syllable. These elements are variously combined in different languages. In English, elevation of pitch is conspicuous when a word is spoken or read by itself as a word, without any reference to a sentence of which it forms or should form a part; but in connected speech the tone and modulation of the sentence dominate those of the individual words composing it, and the change of pitch may be absent, or even reversed, the other elements giving without its aid the required prominence. By the native grammarians of the classical languages of our family (Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit), change of pitch was the recognized constituent of accent. They called a syllable acute if its tone was sharpened or raised, grave if it remained at the general level of utterance, and circumflex if it began at acute pitch and ended at grave. A word of three or more syllables often has in our language, besides its principal accent, another and lighter or secondary one, or even also a third; such secondary accents are denoted in this work by a double accent-mark; thus, val″e-tu-dina′ ri-an, an″te-pe-nul′ ti-mate. The vowels of wholly unaccented syllables in English are much modified, being either made briefer and lighter, or else reduced even to the sound of the so-called neutral vowel, the “short u” of but. These two effects are marked in this work by writing respectively a single or a double dot under the vowel, in the respelling for pronunciation. Emphasis differs from accent in being expended upon a word which is to be made prominent in the sentence.
    • n accent A mark or character used in writing to direct the stress of the voice in pronunciation, or to mark a particular tone, length of vowel-sound, or the like. There is commonly only one such sign (′ ) used to mark the stress or accent in English, except in works on elocution, in which are employed the three Greek accents, namely, the acute (´), the grave (`), and the circumflex (~ or ^). In elocution the first shows when the voice is to be raised, and is called the rising inflection; the second, when it is to be depressed, and is called the falling inflection; and the third, when the vowel is to be uttered with an undulating sound, and is called the compound or waving inflection. An accent over the e in -ed is sometimes used in English poetry to denote that it is to be pronounced as a distinct syllable: as, lovèd or lovéd.
    • n accent In printing, an accented or marked letter; a type bearing an accentual or diacritical mark. The accents most generally used in English type (chiefly for foreign words), and regularly furnished in a full font, are the vowels bearing the acute (´), grave (`), and circumflex (^) accents, and the dieresis (¨), and also the cedilla or French c (ç) and the Spanish n (ñ). Accents for occasional use are the vowels marked long (¯) and short (˘), and other marked letters required for technical works or peculiar to certain languages.
    • n accent Manner of utterance; peculiarity of pronunciation, emphasis, or expression. Specifically, a peculiar modulation of the voice or manner of pronunciation, marked by subtle differences of elocution, characteristic of the spoken language of a given district or a particular rank in society, and especially of each distinct nationality.
    • n accent Words, or tones and modulations of the voice, expressive of some emotion or passion: as, the accents of prayer; the accent of reproof.
    • n accent plural Words, language, or expressions in general.
    • n accent In eccles. chanting, one of the seven forms of modulation used in parts sung by the officiating priest or his assistants, viz., the immutable, medium, grave, acute, moderate, interrogative, final. In music: A stress or emphasis given to certain notes or parts of bars in a composition. It is divided into two kinds, grammatical and rhetorical or esthetic. The first is perfectly regular in its occurrence, always falling on the first part of a bar; the esthetic accent is irregular, and depends on taste and feeling.
    • n accent A mark placed after the letter representing a note to indicate the octave in which it is found. Thus, if C is in the great octave (see octave), c is an octave above, c′ an octave above that, c″ in the next, and so on.
    • n accent In mathematics and mech.: In all literal notation, a mark like an acute accent placed after a letter in order that it may, without confusion, be used to represent different quantities. In this way a b c, a′ b′ c′, a″ b″ c″, etc., may stand for magnitudes as different in value as those which, but for the use of the accents, must be represented by different letters. Letters so marked are read thus: a prime or first (a′ ), a second (a″), a third (a‴), etc.
    • n accent In geometry and trigonometry, a mark at the right hand of a number indicating minutes of a degree, two such marks indicating seconds: as, 20° 10′ 30″ = 20 degrees, 10 minutes, 30 seconds. In mensuration and engineering, a mark at the right hand of a number used to denote feet, inches, and lines; thus, 3′ 6″ 7‴ = 3 feet, 6 inches, 7 lines. In plans and drawings, a mark similarly used after repeated letters or figures, to indicate related or corresponding parts, and read as in algebra. See above, . Synonyms See emphasis and inflection.
    • accent To express the accent of; pronounce or utter with a particular stress or modulation of the voice: as, to accent a word properly.
    • accent To give expression to; utter.
    • accent To mark with a written accent or accents: as, to accent a word in order to indicate its pronunciation.
    • accent To emphasize; dwell upon; accentuate (which see).
    • n accent In decorative, art, an added relieving or contrastive touch or tint: as, deep blue or crimson, with accents of gold.
    • n accent The special stress or emphasis laid on a particular word in a sentence: as, for example, on ‘us’ in the line, “Better for us, perhaps, it might appear”
    • n accent A character, usually (′ ), used to mark such an accented syllable.
    • n accent A character, usually (″), used to mark such an accent. The term often includes minor accents of the third (tertiary) or weaker grades, as in in″′ con″ tro-ver'ti-ble, hy″percat″′ a-lec'tic, in″″com″ pre-hen″′ si-bil'i-ty, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Accent ak′sent modulation of the voice: stress on a syllable or word: a mark used to direct this stress: any mode of utterance peculiar to a country, a province, or an individual: :
    • v.t Accent to express or note the accent
    • n Accent ak′sent (poet.) a significant word, or words generally
    • n Accent ak′sent (pl.) speech, language
    • ***

Quotations

  • Barbara Walters
    Barbara Walters
    “I was the kind nobody thought could make it. I had a funny Boston accent. I couldn't pronounce my R's. I wasn't a beauty.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    Francois%20De%20La%20Rochefoucauld
    “The accent of one's birthplace remains in the mind and in the heart as in one's speech.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. accent, L. accentus,; ad, + cantus, a singing, canere, to sing. See Cant
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. accentus, a tone or note—ad, to, canĕre, to sing.

Usage

In literature:

The policeman had the bearing of a major-general and the accent of the city of Cork.
"The Stolen Singer" by Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger
A clear, slightly Harvard-accented male voice took over.
"Murder in the Gunroom" by Henry Beam Piper
There was vengeance in his very accent, but there was piety also.
"History of the Girondists, Volume I" by Alphonse de Lamartine
Correct pronunciation and accent depend upon the proper observance of quantity.
"Latin for Beginners" by Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge
At all times too gentle an accent is without effect, too glaring an accent is to be condemned.
"For Every Music Lover" by Aubertine Woodward Moore
I could only remark that her accents were thrillingly musical.
"Arthur Mervyn" by Charles Brockden Brown
She was generally supposed to be pure French, and her accent supported the theory, though she was in a small way a linguist.
"The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story" by Various
They differed in accent, in idiom, and in their very names for things.
"Anticipations" by Herbert George Wells
The appoggiatura is always accented, but the acciaccatura never is, the stress always falling on the melody tone.
"Music Notation and Terminology" by Karl W. Gehrkens
It has no high, compelling accent, no eloquence.
"Musical Portraits" by Paul Rosenfeld
The accent here falls on the first syllable of the word.
"Milton's Comus" by John Milton
But, my dear, I must thank yer nivver to open yer mouth when you're out, for yer ain't got the accent.
"Sue, A Little Heroine" by L. T. Meade
Of course the accent must be attended to.
"Notes on My Books" by Joseph Conrad
Ma had never quite lost a tinge of foreign accent, though she had come to America when a girl.
"Gigolo" by Edna Ferber
He had the air of a foreigner, although his tone, when he spoke, was without accent.
"Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
Three rules suffice for the placing of the accent.
"The Little Clay Cart" by (Attributed To) King Shudraka
Charlie was changed; even his accent was changed.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
In singing, two kinds of accent are recognized, the Musical accent, and the Poetic, or Verbal, accent.
"Style in Singing" by W. E. Haslam
He addressed the Jew in Italian, with a remarkably pure accent.
"The Pirate of the Mediterranean" by W.H.G. Kingston
And with the voice of Mentor, drawing nigh, In accents wing'd, him kindly thus bespake.
"The Odyssey of Homer" by Homer
***

In poetry:

But still the stricken lad,
Aloft or on his pillow,
Howled forth in accents sad
His aggravating "Willow!"
"Joe Golightly - Or, The First Lord's Daughter" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Let Kedar's wilderness afar
Lift up the lonely voice;
And let the tenants of the rock
With accent rude rejoice.
"Hymn VI. Behold! th' Ambassador Divine" by John Logan
Hark! the deep-toned, solemn peal!
Again it strikes the air!
My trembling accents steal
To join the anthem there.
"Sin Of The Choral Singer" by James Avis Bartley
Until with accent of regret
She touched upon the past once more,
As if she dared him to forget
His dream of yore.
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
E'en drunken Andrew felt the blow
That innocence can give,
When its resistless accents flow
To bid affection live.
"The Drunken Father" by Robert Bloomfield
But best, were thee to hide
And never come to light;
For in the worle can none but thee
These accents sound aright.
"A Fancy" by Edward Dyer

In news:

'Vulgaria': Raunch Comedy With An Asian Accent.
Arizona Seeks to Reassign Heavily Accented Teachers.
After passing the nation's toughest state immigration enforcement law, Arizona's school officials are now cracking down on teachers with heavy accents.
It's ideal for accenting artwork and decorative objects.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.–The New York International Gift Fair has partnered with collaborative product design studio Red Clay for a crowd-sourced design project of a NYIGF branded tote and a new design concept for NYIGF's Accent on Design award.
Microfiber accent rugs and gun-tufted-like machine-made area rugs are just two examples of new products industry newcomer Regence Home is developing and bringing to the marketplace after only two years in the business.
Regence Home, the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Riviera Home, comes to the New York Home Fashions Market this month with expanded offerings in its area rug category as well as new accent and bath rug lines.
This red tea is punched up with fruity accents and a bit of rum.
When I heard that Red Iguana was opening a second location, I pictured it in the suburbs, in a brand-new shopping center with tasteful stacked-stone accents.
Be respectful of others' accents.
Concord Trading expanded its National Geographic license with a standalone accent rug program this market.
Made entirely from recycled paper, the ReWall Co.'s NakedBoard can be used as decorative wall board, wall-tile backer, ceiling panel, a curved wall, or accent material.
GOP Running Mates Rework Message, Put Accent on 'Change'.
Posh prints, gilded accents and plush velvet—we're taking orders from 17th century monarchs' styling teams.
It's Roll Tide for Temecula Chaparral girls soccer standout Noelle Sanz, who accepted that she "might develop an accent" when she heads to Alabama to play her college ball.
***

In science:

The main accent is put on the investigation of the conditions, under which the finite dimensional operators are dense in norm in the space of quasi-p-nuclear operators, as well as in the space of all absolutely p-summing operators in the topology of ”πp -compact convergence”.
Approximation of operators in Banach spaces
The original accent of the Presenter, noted in the concluding remarks of the conference, may still be present in his written version.
What collisional debris can tell us about galaxies
In spite of Andrei’s opinion, I decided to adopt the term ”defrosting” anyway when Rocky dropped in my office and, with a very strong Chicago-Mafia accent, asked me how would I have translated the expression ”I break your legs” in italian b .
What is found upon defrosting the Universe after inflation
In later works the accent has shifted to incorporate the heavy quark expansion and calculate the Isgur-Wise functions instead of the form factors themselves.
QCD Sum Rules for Heavy Flavors
More generally, any quantity associated with ˘U will have a ˘ accent to distinguish it from the corresponding quantity associated with U .
Stability for the inverse resonance problem for the CMV operator
See (Ladd and Monaghan, 1987; Sproat, 1990) for discussions of the phrasing and accenting of complex nominals.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Three reasons for accenting a definite sub ject.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Accent is predictable (if you’re a mindreader).
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Accenting and deaccenting: A declarative approach.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Intonation, Accent, and Rhythm: Studies in Discourse Phonology.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
On the Grammar and Semantics of Sentence Accents.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Accent and discourse context: Assigning pitch accent in synthetic speech.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Using discourse context to guide pitch accent decisions in synthetic speech.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
Accents from Speakers to Listeners: An Experimental Study of the Production and Perception of Accent Patterns in Dutch.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
The function of the a-rise accent in English.
Some Bibliographical References on Intonation and Intonational Meaning
***