grave accent

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GRAVE ACCENT [Pronounced ‘grahv’]. A diacritical mark over a letter as in FRENCH è: première, siècle. It is not usually retained when a word containing it is borrowed into English (fin de siecle, premiere), usually because it is not available on a keyboard or in type. Grave ACCENTS are, however, sometimes applied to English words to mark such distinctions as the pronounced e of the second item of the pairs aged/agèd, learned/learnèd. See D, DIACRITIC.

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grave ac·cent / gräv; grāv/ • n. a mark (`) placed over certain letters in some languages to indicate an alteration of a sound, as of quality, quantity, or pitch.

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