grave accent (grāv, gräv)
1. A mark ( ` ) indicating a pronounced e for the sake of meter in the usually nonsyllabic ending -ed in English poetry.
2. A similar mark used in various languages as an indication of vowel quality or quantity.
3. A similar mark used, as in transliteration of Chinese, to indicate that a syllable has a falling pitch.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.