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).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɹɑtʃ.ɪt/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɹɒtʃ.ɪt/
Audio (UK) (file)
crotchet (plural crotchets)
- (music) A musical note one beat long in 4/4 time.
- (obsolete) A sharp curve or crook; a shape resembling a hook
- (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.
- A forked support; a crotch.
- 1717, John Dryden, “Book VIII. [The Story of Baucis and Philemon.]”, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Fifteen Books. […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 731548838, page 287:
- Their little Shed, ſcarce large enough for Two, / Seems, from the Ground increas'd, in Height and Bulk to grow. / A ſtately Temple ſhoots within the Skies, / The Crotchets of their Cot in Columns riſe: [...]
- (military, historical) An indentation in the glacis of the covered way, at a point where a traverse is placed.
- (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.
- (printing) A square bracket.
- (musical note): quarter note (US)
- (obsolete) to play music in measured time
- (Can we find and add a quotation of John Donne to this entry?)
- Archaic form of (knit by looping)
crotchet m (plural crotchets)
- crotchet cârré (“square bracket”)