: 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 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,, 25 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mordent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mordent was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near mordent

Cite this Entry

“Mordent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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