mor·​dent | \ˈmȯr-dᵊnt, mȯr-ˈdent \

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mordent

Statistics for mordent

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mordent

The first known use of mordent was in 1806

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on mordent

See words that rhyme with mordent

Comments on mordent

What made you want to look up mordent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!