• synonyms


or mor·dant

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noun Music.
  1. a melodic embellishment consisting of a rapid alternation of a principal tone with the tone a half or a whole step below it, called single or short when the auxiliary tone occurs once and double or long when this occurs twice or more.
  2. inverted mordent.

Origin of mordent

1800–10; < German < Italian mordente biting < Latin mordent-, stem of mordēns, present participle of mordēre to bite; see -ent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mordent

Historical Examples

  • When executing the mordent, is not the use of three fingers preferable to two?

    Piano Playing</p>

    Josef Hofmann

  • The last note of the mordent should be accented in this case.

    Piano Playing</p>

    Josef Hofmann

  • Running over the leaves he came to the illustrations of the mordent.

  • Running over the leaves, he came to the illustrations of the mordent.

  • Mordent, mor′dent, n. a kind of trill in music, or the character indicating it.

British Dictionary definitions for mordent


  1. music a melodic ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of a note with a note one degree lower than itAlso called: lower mordent

Word Origin

C19: from German, from Italian mordente, from mordere to bite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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