Definition of secondary stress in 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.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘There is some controversy about which one of these is the secondary stress.’
    • ‘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/