"come to or arrive at" (a state, position, office, etc.), early 15c., from Latin accedere "approach, go to, come near, enter upon," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + cedere "go, move, withdraw" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield"). Latin ad- usually became ac- before "k" sounds. Related: Acceded; acceding.
musical instruction indicating a passage to be played with gradually increasing speed, 1842, from Italian accelerando, present participle of accelerare, from Latin accelerare "to hasten, quicken" (see accelerate).
"that which hastens," especially combustion, 1854, from Latin accelerantem (nominative accelerans), present participle of accelerare "to hasten, quicken" (see accelerate). As an adjective from 1890.
1520s, "hasten the occurrence of;" 1590s, "make quicker" (implied in accelerating), from Latin acceleratus, past participle of accelerare "to hasten, quicken" (trans.), "make haste" (intrans.), from ad "to" (see ad-) + celerare "hasten," from celer "swift," which is perhaps from PIE *keli- "speeding" (see celerity). The intransitive sense of "go faster, become faster" in English is from 1640s. Related: Accelerated; accelerative.
"act or condition of going faster," 1530s, from Latin accelerationem (nominative acceleratio) "a hastening," noun of action from past-participle stem of accelerare "to hasten, quicken," from ad "to" (see ad-) + celerare "hasten," from celer "swift," which is perhaps from PIE *keli- "speeding" (see celerity).
1610s, "a hastener," from Latin accelerator, agent noun from accelerare "to hasten; make haste" (see accelerate). Motor vehicle sense of "pedal which operates the throttle and thus modulates engine speed" is from 1900; particle physics sense is from 1931.
late 14c., "particular mode of pronunciation," from Old French acent "accent" (13c.), from Latin accentus "song added to speech," from ad "to" (see ad-) + cantus "a singing," past participle of canere "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing").
The Latin word was a loan-translation of Greek prosōidia, from pros- "to" + ōidē "song," which apparently described the pitch scheme in Greek verse.
The meaning "effort in utterance making one syllable stronger than another in pitch or stress" is attested from 1580s; as "mark or character used in writing to indicate accent," it is recorded by 1590s. The decorative-arts sense of "something that emphasizes or highlights" is from 1972.
The soundest distinction perhaps is that "accent" refers to the habitual stress laid on a syllable in ordinary pronunciation ; "stress" to a syllable specially accented for this or that reason, logical, rhetorical, or prosodic purely. [George Saintsbury, "Historical Manual of English Prosody," 1914]
"pronounce with accent or stress," 1520s, from French accenter, from Old French acenter "accentuate, stress," from acent (see accent (n.)). The meaning "mark with an accent sign" is from 1660s (implied in accented); the figurative sense of "mark emphatically" is by 1650s. Related: Accenting.
1731, "pronounce with an accent," from Medieval Latin accentuatus, past participle of accentuare "to accent," from Latin accentus "song added to speech," from ad "to" (see ad-) + cantus "a singing," past participle of canere "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). Figurative meaning "emphasize, place an accent or emphasis on" 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.