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in architecture, a small, independent, sharply projecting medieval ornament, usually occurring in rows, and decorated with foliage. In the late 12th century, when it first appeared, the crocket had the form of a ball-like bud, with a spiral outline, similar to an uncurling fern frond; but in the later Gothic period it took the form of open, fully developed leaves that by the 15th century had evolved into richly involuted forms. Crockets are used especially on the inclined edges of spires, pinnacles, and gables and are also found on capitals and cornices.