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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. (obsolete) A sharp curve or crook; a shape resembling a 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 []
    • 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.
  4. A forked support; a crotch.
    • 1693, John Dryden, Baucis and Philemon
      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 termsEdit



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

  1. (obsolete) to play music in measured time
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Donne to this entry?)
  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 termsEdit