[ kroch-it ]
/ ˈkrɒtʃ ɪt /


an odd fancy or whimsical notion.
a small hook.
a hooklike device or part.
Entomology. a small, hooklike process.
Music. Chiefly British. a quarter note.
a curved surgical instrument with a sharp hook.

Nearby words

  1. crosswort,
  2. crostini,
  3. crotal,
  4. crotalin,
  5. crotch,
  6. crotchety,
  7. crotchwood,
  8. croton,
  9. croton bug,
  10. croton oil

Origin of crotchet

1350–1400; Middle English crochet hook, staff with hook at end < Middle French (see crochet); doublet of crocket Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crotchet

British Dictionary definitions for crotchet


/ (ˈkrɒtʃɪt) /


music a note having the time value of a quarter of a semibreveUsual US and Canadian name: quarter note
a small hook or hooklike device
a perverse notion
zoology a small notched or hooked process, as in an insect

Word Origin for crotchet

C14: from Old French crochet, literally: little hook, from croche hook; see crocket

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

Word Origin and History for crotchet



late 14c., "crocket," later "small hook" (early 15c.), from Old French crochet (pronounced "crotchet") "hook" (see crochet). As a surgical instrument, from 1750. Figurative use in musical notation is from mid-15c., from the shape of the notes. Meaning "whimsical fancy" is from 1570s; perhaps from the same mechanical image in crank; but other authorities link this sense to the musical notation one.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper