Mordent meaning

môrdnt, môr-dĕnt
A melodic ornament in which a principal tone is rapidly alternated with the tone a half or full step below.
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(music) 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.
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(music) An ornament consisting of a single alternation between a given pitch, and the one immediately below it.
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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