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[mawr-dnt] /ˈmɔr dnt/
noun, Music.
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.
Origin of mordent
1800-10; < German < Italian mordente biting < Latin mordent-, stem of mordēns, present participle of mordēre to bite; see -ent Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mordent


(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
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