To accentuate something is to emphasize it. If you want someone to know you’re from the American South, accentuate your accent by laying it on thick, y’all.

When you accentuate, you draw attention to something. You could wear a green shirt to accentuate your green eyes, for example. You can also accentuate words when you give them added stress. An actor might accentuate certain words in a monologue in order to emphasize the character’s anger. This word traces all the way back to the Latin verb canere, “to sing.”

Definitions of accentuate
  1. verb

    stress or single out as important

    accent, emphasise, emphasize, punctuate, stress
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    background, downplay, play down

    understate the importance or quality of
    bring out, set off

    direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
    re-emphasise, re-emphasize

    emphasize anew
    bear down

    pay special attention to

    emphasize by putting heavy stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence
    point up

    emphasize, especially by identification
    drive home, press home, ram home

    make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something
    emphasise, emphasize, underline, underscore

    give extra weight to (a communication)
    pick up

    lift out or reflect from a background
    wave off

    dismiss as insignificant
    foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight

    move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent

    bring (a surface or a design) into relief and cause to project

    play down or obscure
    type of:

    evince, express, show

    give expression to

  2. verb

    put stress on; utter with an accent

    accent, stress
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    type of:

    articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out

    speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way

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