Definition - The relative emphasis given to either certain syllables in a word or to certain words in a phrase or sentence.

Etymology -
The word derives via Middle French from the Latin strictus, compressed (from stringere, draw tight).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1749:
"The Accents … were designed very probably at first to regulate the Tone or Key of the Voice, not the Stress or Force of it."
(Power & Harmony Pros. Numbers 25)

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