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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Accent mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Accent

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ac"cent`
  1. A superior force of voice or of articulative effort upon some particular syllable of a word or a phrase, distinguishing it from the others.
  2. 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 .
  3. 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."Shak."A perfect accent."Thackeray."The tender accent of a woman's cry." [Prior.]
  4. A word; a significant toneplexpressions in general; speech."Winds! on your wings to Heaven her accents bear, Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear." [Dryden.]
  5. [Pros] Stress laid on certain syllables of a verse.
  6. [Mus]
    1. A regularly recurring stress upon the tone to mark the beginning, and, more feebly, the third part of the measure.
    2. A special emphasis of a tone, even in the weaker part of the measure.
    3. The rhythmical accent, which marks phrases and sections of a period.
    4. The expressive emphasis and shading of a passage.
  7. [Math]
    1. 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″.
    2. [Trigon]
      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.
    3. [Engin]
      A mark used to denote feet and inches; as, 6' 10″ is six feet ten inches.

Note: ☞ Many English words have two accents, the primary and the secondary; the primary being uttered with a greater stress of voice than the secondary; as in as' pira" tion, where the chief stress is on the third syllable, and a slighter stress on the first. Some words, as an'tiap'o-plec"tic in-com'pre-hen'si-bil"i-ty, have two secondary accents. See Guide to Pron., §§ 30-46.

Note: ☞ In the ancient Greek the acute accent') meant a raised tone or pitch, the grave `), the level tone or simply the negation of accent, the circumflex~ or ^) a tone raised and then depressed. In works on elocution, the first is often used to denote the rising inflection of the voice; the second, the falling inflection; and the third (^), the compound or waving inflection. In dictionaries, spelling books, and the like, the acute accent is used to designate the syllable which receives the chief stress of voice.

Etymology: F. accent, L. accentus; ad + cantus a singing, canere to sing. See Cant

verb Ac*cent"
  1. To express the accent of (either by the voice or by a mark); to utter or to mark with accent.
  2. To mark emphatically; to emphasize.

Etymology: OF. accenter, F. accentuer

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation
  2. The relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch)
  3. Distinctive manner of oral expression ("he couldn't suppress his contemptuous accent")
  4. The usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people ("he has a strong German accent")
  5. Special importance or significance ("the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red accents")
  6. Put stress on; utter with an accent ("In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word")
  7. To stress, single out as important

Fun Facts about the name Accent

  • How unique is the name Accent? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Accent was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Accent: Your name in reverse order is Tnecca. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Aeccnt. How do you pronounce that?

What Accents Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Accent born Mar 25, 1972

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Alaska approximately on 1175. Your profession was handicraftsman and mechanic.

You were a seeker of truth and wisdom. You could have seen your future lives. Others perceived you as an idealist illuminating path to the future. You fulfill your lesson by helping old folks and children. You came to that life to learn to care about weak and helpless.

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).