Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


or mordant

[mawr-dnt] /ˈmɔr dnt/
noun, Music.
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.
Origin of mordent
1800-10; < German < Italian mordente biting < Latin mordent-, stem of mordēns, present participle of mordēre to bite; see -ent Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mordent
Historical Examples
  • When executing the mordent, is not the use of three fingers preferable to two?

    Piano Playing

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

    Piano Playing

    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.

  • Never was there such gilding of the lily, such painstaking practice of trill and mordent.

    Basil Everman Elsie Singmaster
  • And he tightened his arms round her, happy once more for a mordent in this environment of a perfect love.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • The selection of the fingers for the execution of a mordent depends always upon the preceding notes or keys which lead up to it.

    Piano Playing

    Josef Hofmann
  • The mordent must be played fast enough to preserve the rhythmic integrity of the melody-note.

    Piano Playing

    Josef Hofmann
British Dictionary definitions for mordent


(music) a melodic ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of a note with a note one degree lower than it Also 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mordent

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mordent

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mordent