In phonetics, stress is the degree of emphasis given a sound or syllable in speech. Also called lexical stress or word stress.
Unlike some other languages, English has variablestress. This means that stress patterns can help distinguish the meanings of two words or phrases that otherwise appear to be the same. For example, in the phrase "every white house," the words whiteand house receive roughly equal stress; however, when we refer to the official home of the American president, "the White House," the word White is usually stressed more heavily thanHouse.