From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Accent \Ac"cent`\, n. [F. accent, L. accentus; ad + cantus a
   singing, canere to sing. See Cant.]
   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   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[bprime]tion, where the chief stress is on the
         third syllable, and a slighter stress on the first.
         Some words, as an'tiap'o-plec[bprime]tic,
         in-com'pre-hen'si-bil[bprime]i-ty, have two secondary
         accents. See Guide to Pron., [sect][sect] 30-46.
         [1913 Webster]

   2. A mark or character used in writing, and serving to
      regulate the pronunciation; esp.:
      (a) a mark to indicate the nature and place of the spoken
      (b) a mark to indicate the quality of sound of the vowel
          marked; as, the French accents.
          [1913 Webster]

   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.
         [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

            The tender accent of a woman's cry.   --Prior.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. A word; a significant tone; (pl.) expressions in general;
      [1913 Webster]

            Winds! on your wings to Heaven her accents bear,
            Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear. --Dryden.
      [1913 Webster]

   5. (Pros.) Stress laid on certain syllables of a verse.
      [1913 Webster]

   6. (Mus.)
      (a) A regularly recurring stress upon the tone to mark the
          beginning, and, more feebly, the third part of the
      (b) A special emphasis of a tone, even in the weaker part
          of the measure.
      (c) The rhythmical accent, which marks phrases and
          sections of a period.
      (d) The expressive emphasis and shading of a passage. --J.
          S. Dwight.
          [1913 Webster]

   7. (Math.)
      (a) 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[sec].
      (b) (Trigon.) A mark at the right hand of a number,
          indicating minutes of a degree, seconds, etc.; as,
          12'27[sec], i. e., twelve minutes twenty seven
      (c) (Engin.) A mark used to denote feet and inches; as, 6'
          10[sec] is six feet ten inches.
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Accent \Ac*cent"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Accented; p. pr. & vb.
   n. Accenting.] [OF. accenter, F. accentuer.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. To express the accent of (either by the voice or by a
      mark); to utter or to mark with accent.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To mark emphatically; to emphasize.
      [1913 Webster]
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