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an accent indicating a lowering of tone on a syllable. The grave accent is a type of musical accent; it is in contrast to the acute accent and circumflex and is denoted by the mark “. In ancient Greek, the grave accent indicates the absence of tonal emphasis, that is, it indicates the tonality of an unaccented vowel. In Byzantine texts, the grave accent became established only on the final accented syllable of a word, where it was used as a variant of the acute accent in certain phrases. The grave accent is also used in some languages to indicate a vowel’s quality; for example, the French é is an open e.