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accent (n.)

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. Meaning "effort in utterance making one syllable stronger than another in pitch or stress" is from 1580s; as "mark or character used in writing to indicate accent," 1590s. The decorative-arts sense of "something that emphasizes or highlights" is from 1972.

Origin and meaning of accent

accent (v.)

"to pronounce with accent or stress," 1520s, from French accenter, from Old French acenter "accentuate, stress," from acent (see accent (n.)). Meaning "mark with an accent sign" is from 1660s (implied in accented); figurative sense "mark emphatically" is from 1650s. Related: Accenting.

Origin and meaning of accent

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Definitions of accent from WordNet
1
accent (n.)
distinctive manner of oral expression;
he couldn't suppress his contemptuous accent
Synonyms: speech pattern
accent (n.)
special importance or significance;
the room was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red accents
Synonyms: emphasis
accent (n.)
the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people;
he has a strong German accent
Synonyms: dialect / idiom
accent (n.)
the relative prominence of a syllable or musical note (especially with regard to stress or pitch);
Synonyms: stress / emphasis
accent (n.)
a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation;
Synonyms: accent mark
2
accent (v.)
to stress, single out as important;
accent (v.)
put stress on; utter with an accent;
In Farsi, you accent the last syllable of each word
Synonyms: stress / accentuate
From wordnet.princeton.edu