Definition of crotchet in English:



  • 1British Music
    A quarter note.

    • ‘An F# major mode is set out in a layered contrapuntal texture, piccolo and violins marking the fast crotchet beat while glockenspiel, celesta and sampler cut across this with triplet rhythms and a few dissonant pitches.’
    • ‘In this connection it is noteworthy that the violins in bars 3-4 play in dotted crotchets, the three-eight equivalent of the original dotted minims.’
    • ‘The process was simple: composers strictly followed the metre of the verse, setting long, accented syllables as minims, and short, unaccented ones as crotchets.’
    • ‘Furthermore, a comparison of the way in which crotchets and quavers are notated makes it likely that the same scribe copied both works.’
    • ‘He certainly captures the remoteness of that distant planet, with the relentless ‘processional’ of bass crotchets, which opens and concludes the piece.’
  • 2A perverse or unfounded belief or notion.

    ‘the natural crotchets of inveterate bachelors’
    • ‘It would seem a purposeless and even cruel task to recount in some five hundred pages the cranks and crotchets of a great mind, but there is the personal Russell to be chronicled.’
    whim, whimsy, fancy, fad, vagary, notion, conceit, caprice, kink, twist, freak, fetish, passion, bent, foible, quirk, eccentricity, idiosyncrasy
    idée fixe
    hang-up, thing
    View synonyms


Middle English (in the sense hook): from Old French crochet, diminutive of croc hook from Old Norse krókr.