Definition of grave accent in US English:

grave accent


  • A mark (`) placed over certain letters in some languages to indicate an alteration of a sound, as of quality, quantity, or pitch.

    • ‘I guess it's possible that the reporter does know the difference, and is writing about the use of single quote and back quote as a method for keyboarding acute and grave accents; but if that's it, why not say so, and give an example?’
    • ‘When the word has a grave accent over the vowel, it is pronounced with a voice that starts at a low level and then falls even lower.’
    • ‘I did put together the first of two photo galleries at the weekend, but on its completion I realised with horror that I had mixed up my acute and my grave accents.’
    • ‘Sorry, I didn't know how to use MS Word to put all the other accents, that is, the curvy ones, the marks that go below the letters, the grave accents, and so on.’
    • ‘In any case, what I said about combining diacritics still stands - for example, to handle Yoruba, you need to be able to combine underdotted vowels with acute and grave accents (for tone).’


Early 17th century: French grave (see grave).