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Two crotchets and a crotchet rest


From Middle English crochet, 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. (obsolete) A sharp curve or crook; a shape resembling a hook
  3. (surgery, now chiefly historical) A hook-shaped instrument, especially as used in obstetric surgery.
    • 1797, Hester Lynch Piozzi, Thraliana, 1 September:
      Either Doctor Denman or an old Woman would have waited—but since the horrid death-doing Crotchet has been found out, & its use permitted—Oh! many & many a Life has been flung away.
  4. (archaic) A whim or a fancy.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “Democracy”, in Past and Present, New York, N.Y.: William H. Colyer, [], published May 1843, OCLC 10193956, book III (The Modern Worker), page 124:
      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; [...] dost thou call that "liberty!"
    • 1847, Thomas De Quincey, Secret Societies (published in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine):
      He ruined himself and all that trusted in him by crotchets that he could never explain to any rational man.
  5. A forked support; a crotch.
  6. (military, historical) An indentation in the glacis of the covered way, at a point where a traverse is placed.
  7. (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.
  8. (printing) A square bracket.


Derived terms[edit]



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

  1. (obsolete) to play music in measured time
  2. Archaic form of crochet (knit by looping)



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]