Definition of mordent in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmɔːd(ə)nt/


A rapid alternation of a note with the note immediately below or above it in the scale (sometimes further distinguished as lower mordent and upper mordent). The term inverted mordent usually refers to the upper mordent.
Example sentences
  • He employs a wide variety of ornaments such as mordents, trills, broken chords and appoggiaturas.
  • Later developments included the adoption of standard signs for such frequently used ornaments as appoggiaturas, mordents, slides, trills, or turns.
  • This is an ideal variation for students to learn dotted rhythms, finger precision, mordents and slurring, since the third eighth note in each beat sounds best if it is not connected to the next beat.


Early 19th century: via German from Italian mordente, present participle of mordere 'to bite'.

Words that rhyme with mordent

accordant, concordant, discordant, mordant

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mor|dent

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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