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Paroxytone (Greek: , paroxýtonos) is a linguistic term for a word with stress on the penultimate syllable, that is, the second last syllable, such as the English word potáto, and just about all words ending in -ic such as músic, frántic, and phonétic; except for rhétoric, aríthmetic (noun) and Árabic. In Italian and Portuguese, most words have paroxytonic stress. In Polish, almost all words have paroxytonic stress, except for certain verb conjugations and a few words of foreign origin.

In medieval Latin lyric poetry, a paroxytonic line or half-line is one in which the penultimate syllable is stressed, as in the second half of the verse "Estuans intrinsecus || ira vehementi."

Related terms are proparoxytone (stress on the third last syllable) and oxytone (accented on the last syllable).

See also


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