[ mawr-dnt ]
/ ˈmɔr dnt /



verb (used with object)

to impregnate or treat with a mordant.

Origin of mordant

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French, present participle of mordre to bite ≪ Latin mordēre; see -ant

Related forms

mor·dant·ly, adverbun·mor·dant, adjectiveun·mor·dant·ly, adverb

Definition for mordant (2 of 2)


or mor·dant

[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mordant

British Dictionary definitions for mordant (1 of 2)


/ (ˈmɔːdənt) /


sarcastic or caustic
having the properties of a mordant


a substance used before the application of a dye, possessing the ability to fix colours in textiles, leather, etcSee also lake 2 (def. 1)
an acid or other corrosive fluid used to etch lines on a printing plate


(tr) to treat (a fabric, yarn, etc) with a mordant

Derived Forms

mordancy, nounmordantly, adverb

Word Origin for mordant

C15: from Old French: biting, from mordre to bite, from Latin mordēre

British Dictionary definitions for mordant (2 of 2)


/ (ˈmɔːdənt) /


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 for mordent

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

Medicine definitions for mordant


[ môrdnt ]


Serving to fix colors in dyeing.


A reagent, such as tannic acid, that fixes dyes to cells, tissues, or other materials.


To treat with a mordant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.