mor·​dent | \ ˈmȯr-dᵊnt How to pronounce mordent (audio) , mȯr-ˈdent How to pronounce mordent (audio) \

Definition of mordent

: a musical ornament made by a quick alternation of a principal tone with the tone immediately below it

Examples of mordent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web John Prine, an esteemed country-folk singer-songwriter whose mordent wit camouflaged the profound seriousness of his work, has died at 73. Jim Farber,, "John Prine, revered singer-songwriter, dies at 73," 8 Apr. 2020 On the page, that ornament is a little squiggle called a mordent, instructing the player that the note should quickly alternate with one next to it. Peter Dobrin,, "Defying gravity with pianist Mitsuko Uchida," 25 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mordent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mordent

1806, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mordent

Italian mordente, literally, biting, pungent, from Latin mordent-, mordens, present participle of mordēre

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The first known use of mordent was in 1806

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Cite this Entry

“Mordent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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