Definition of secondary stress in US English:

secondary stress


  • (in a system that postulates three levels of stress) the accent on a syllable of a word or breath group that is weaker than the primary stress but stronger than the lack of stress.

    • ‘The ‘tse’ gets a slight secondary stress, but the only real accent is on the first syllable.’
    • ‘The secondary stress focuses the word in the line, which may then be scanned as follows, giving an irregular but forceful rhythm.’
    • ‘There is some controversy about which one of these is the secondary stress.’
    • ‘A secondary stress after the primary stress is an unreduced syllable in the tail of the tone group.’
    • ‘The second syllable in Hamburger contains the long vowel; being long, this vowel is likely to attract secondary stress.’


secondary stress

/ˈsekənˌderē stres//ˈsɛkənˌdɛri strɛs/