• synonyms


or mor·dant

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.
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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

    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.

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
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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