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Two crotchets and a crotchet rest


From Old French crochet (small hook), from croc + -et (diminutive suffix), from Old Norse krókr (hook). The musical note was named so because of a small hook on its stem in black notation (in modern notation this hook is on the quaver/eighth note).


crotchet (plural crotchets)

  1. (music) A musical note one beat long in 4/4 time.
  2. A sharp curve or crook; a shape resembling a hook (obsolete except in crochet hook).
  3. (archaic) a whim or a fancy
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 3, chapter XIII, Democracy
      Thou who walkest in a vain shew, looking out with ornamental dilettante sniff and serene supremacy at all Life and all Death; and amblest jauntily; perking up thy poor talk into crotchets, thy poor conduct into fatuous somnambulisms []
    • De Quincey
      He ruined himself and all that trusted in him by crotchets that he could never explain to any rational man.
  4. A forked support; a crotch.
    • Dryden
      The crotchets of their cot in columns rise.
  5. (military, historical) An indentation in the glacis of the covered way, at a point where a traverse is placed.
  6. (military) The arrangement of a body of troops, either forward or rearward, so as to form a line nearly perpendicular to the general line of battle.
  7. (printing) A square bracket.


Derived terms[edit]



crotchet (third-person singular simple present crotchets, present participle crotcheting, simple past and past participle crotcheted)

  1. to make needlework by looping thread with a hooked needle; to crochet
  2. (obsolete) to play music in measured time
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Donne to this entry?)



From Old French crochet (small hook), from croc (with diminutive suffix -et), from Old Norse krókr (hook).


crotchet m (plural crotchets)

  1. (Jersey, punctuation) bracket

Derived terms[edit]