mor·dent (môrdnt, môr-dĕnt)
A melodic ornament in which a principal tone is rapidly alternated with the tone a half or full step below.
[German, from Italian mordente, from mordere, to bite, from Vulgar Latin *mordere, from Latin mordēre; see mer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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