|Definition - The relative emphasis given to either certain syllables in a word or to certain words in a phrase or sentence.|
Etymology - The word derives via Middle French from the Latin strictus, compressed (from stringere, draw tight).
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation is from 1749:
"The Accents … were designed very probably at first to regulate the Tone or Key of the Voice, not the Stress or Force of it."
(Power & Harmony Pros. Numbers 25)