In linguistics, a paroxytone (Greek: παροξύτονος, paroxýtonos) is a word with stress on the penultimate syllable, that is, the second last syllable, such as the English word potáto.
In English, most words ending in –ic are paroxytones: músic, frántic, and phonétic; but not rhétoric, aríthmetic (noun), and Árabic.
In Italian and Portuguese, most words are paroxytons. In Polish, almost all words are paroxytones, 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 concepts are proparoxytone (stress on the third last syllable) and oxytone (stress on the last syllable).