A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Accent (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 67

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 67

A'ccent. n.s. [accentus, Lat.]

  1. The manner of speaking or pronouncing, with regard either to force or elegance.

    I know, Sir, I am no flatterer; he that beguiled you in a plain accent was a plain knave; which, for my part, I will not be. Shakespeare's King Lear.

    Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling. Shakespeare's As you like it.

  2. In grammar, the marks made upon syllables to regulate their pronunciation.

    Accent, as in the Greek names and usage, seems to have regarded the tune of the voice; the acute accent raising the voice in some certain syllables to a higher, i.e. more acute pitch or tone, and the grave depressing it lower, and both having some emphasis, i.e. more vigorous pronunciation. Holder's Elem.

  3. Poetically, language or words.

                  How many ages hence
    Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er,
    In states unborn, and accents yet unknown.
    Shak. Jul. Cæsar.

    Winds on your wings to heav'n her accents bear;
    Such words as heav'n alone is fit to hear.
    Dryd. Virg. Past. 3.

  4. A modification of the voice, expressive of the passions or sentiments.

    The tender accent of a woman's cry
    Will pass unheard, will unregarded die;
    When the rough seaman's louder shouts prevail,
    When fair occasion shews the springing gale.
    Prior.

Sources: Shakespeare's As You Like It (40) · Dryden, John (788) · Holder, William (38) · Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (42) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Prior, Matthew (162)

Attributes: Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Accent (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 31, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=1447.


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