from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mark (´) indicating:
  • n. that a vowel is close or tense, as é in French été.
  • n. that a vowel or syllable has a high or rising pitch, as in Chinese or Ancient Greek.
  • n. that a vowel is long, as in Czech dobrá.
  • n. that the syllable in which the vowel appears is stressed, as in Spanish fácil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. : A diacritical mark ( ´ ) that can be placed above a number of letters in many languages of the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic writing systems.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a mark (') placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation


From Latin accentus ("accent") acūtus ("sharp"), a calque of Ancient Greek προσῳδία (prosōdia, "accent") ὀξύς (oxýs, "sharp"). (Wiktionary)


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