Definition of secondary stress in English:

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secondary stress

Pronunciation: /ˈsekənˌderē stres/

noun

Phonetics
(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.
Example sentences
  • A secondary stress after the primary stress is an unreduced syllable in the tail of the tone group.
  • The secondary stress focuses the word in the line, which may then be scanned as follows, giving an irregular but forceful rhythm.
  • The ‘tse’ gets a slight secondary stress, but the only real accent is on the first syllable.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sec·ond·ar·y stress

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