crotchet

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English[edit]

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Two crotchets and a crotchet rest

Etymology[edit]

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). Doublet of crochet, crocket, and croquet.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

crotchet (plural crotchets)

  1. (music) A musical note one beat long in 4/4 time.
    Synonym: (US) quarter note
  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 September 1, Hester Lynch Piozzi, Thraliana:
      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, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, 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]

Translations[edit]

Verb[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
    • a. 1631 (date written), J[ohn] Donne, “(please specify the title)”, in Poems, [] with Elegies on the Authors Death, London: [] M[iles] F[lesher] for Iohn Marriot, [], published 1633, →OCLC:
      The nimblest crotcheting musician
  2. Archaic form of crochet (knit by looping)

Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

crotchet m (plural crotchets)

  1. (Jersey, punctuation) bracket

Derived terms[edit]