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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Appoggiatura \Ap*pog`gia*tu"ra\, n. [It., fr. appogiarre to lean, to rest; ap- (L. ad) + poggiare to mount, ascend, poggio hill, fr. L. podium an elevated place.] (Mus.) A passing tone preceding an essential tone, and borrowing the time it occupies from that; a short auxiliary or grace note one degree above or below the principal note unless it be of the same harmony; -- generally indicated by a note of smaller size, as in the illustration above. It forms no essential part of the harmony. [1913 Webster]