mordent

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
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British Dictionary definitions for mordent

mordent

/ (ˈmɔːdənt) /

noun

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