Share this entry

Share this page

crotchet

Line breaks: crot|chet
Pronunciation: /ˈkrɒtʃɪt
 
/

Definition of crotchet in English:

noun

1 Music , British A note having the time value of a quarter of a semibreve or half a minim, represented by a large solid dot with a plain stem. Also called quarter note.
Example sentences
  • The process was simple: composers strictly followed the metre of the verse, setting long, accented syllables as minims, and short, unaccented ones as crotchets.
  • In this connection it is noteworthy that the violins in bars 3-4 play in dotted crotchets, the three-eight equivalent of the original dotted minims.
  • Furthermore, a comparison of the way in which crotchets and quavers are notated makes it likely that the same scribe copied both works.
2A perverse or unfounded belief or notion: the natural crotchets of inveterate bachelors
More example sentences
  • It would seem a purposeless and even cruel task to recount in some five hundred pages the cranks and crotchets of a great mind, but there is the personal Russell to be chronicled.
Synonyms
whim, whimsy, fancy, fad, vagary, notion, conceit, caprice, kink, twist, freak, fetish, passion, bent, foible, quirk, eccentricity, idiosyncrasy;
Frenchidée fixe
informal hang-up, thing
archaic megrim
rare singularity

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'hook'): from Old French crochet, diminutive of croc 'hook', from Old Norse krókr.

More
  • croquet from (mid 19th century):

    Different as they seem, croquet and crochet (mid 19th century) are probably the same word. Croquet is thought to be a form of French crochet ‘hook, shepherd's crook’, which can mean ‘hockey stick’ in parts of France, and in English refers to a handicraft in which yarn is made up into fabric with a hooked needle. The lawn game in which you drive balls through hoops with a mallet seems to have been invented in France but introduced to Ireland, from where it spread to England in the 1850s and quickly became a popular sport among the aristocracy. The French word is also the source of the musical note called the crotchet (Middle English), from its shape, and also the old-fashioned term meaning a perverse belief, a hooked or twisted point of view, in use since Middle English, and giving us the term crotchety in the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with crotchet

rochet

Definition of crotchet in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure