An ornament made by a single rapid alternation of a principal tone with a subsidiary tone a half step or whole step below: in a double mordent there are two alternations: in an inverted mordent the subsidiary tone is a half step or whole step above the principal tone.
Webster's New World
(music) An ornament consisting of a single alternation between a given pitch, and the one immediately below it.
Other Word Forms of Mordent
Origin of Mordent
German from Italian mordente from mordere to bite from Vulgar Latin mordere from Latin mordēre mer- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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