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mordent

[mawr-dnt] /ˈmɔr dnt/
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.
Also, mordant.
Origin
1800-1810
1800-10; < German < Italian mordente biting < Latin mordent-, stem of mordēns, present participle of mordēre to bite; see -ent
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mordent

mordent

/ˈmɔːdənt/
noun
1.
(music) a melodic ornament consisting of the rapid alternation of a note with a note one degree lower than it Also called lower mordent
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
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