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Word of the Day
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Definitions for crotchet

  1. An odd fancy or whimsical notion.
  2. A small hook.
  3. In British musical nomenclature, a quarter note.

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Citations for crotchet
A hundred years ago denial of the existence of witchcraft was considered all right thinking people, from Addison downwards, a wrong-headed crotchet. Henry Strickland Constable, Observations suggested the cattle plague: about witchcraft, credulity
Some fatalities come in certain shapes, and some in others - but this of which I speak has come in the shape of a vaporous crotchet. Edgar Allan Poe, The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherezade
Origin of crotchet
Crotchet stems from the Middle English term for a staff with a hook at the end. The sense of whimsy most likely derives from its other meaning as a hook-shaped musical note.