Definition of primary stress in US English:

primary stress


  • The strongest accent in a word or breath group.

    Compare with secondary stress
    • ‘A secondary stress after the primary stress is an unreduced syllable in the tail of the tone group.’
    • ‘The unstressed syllables don't matter as long as the number of primary stresses remains constant from line to line.’
    • ‘The secondary stress can precede or follow the primary stress, and there need not be an intervening syllable.’
    • ‘To discover where primary stress goes in the words in this exercise, speak each word aloud and place special emphasis on the syllable that you think should be stressed.’


primary stress

/ˌprīˌmerē ˈstres//ˌpraɪˌmɛri ˈstrɛs/