Definition of recite in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈsʌɪt/


[with object]
1Repeat aloud or declaim (a poem or passage) from memory before an audience: he recited passages of Dante
More example sentences
  • While imprisoned for the night, he famously kept his spirits up by singing ballads and reciting passages from the Bible.
  • Anyone wishing to sing a song or recite a poem is welcome to do so.
  • There are books to help children with their maths and science and teach them to recite poems and sing songs.
repeat from memory, say aloud, read aloud, declaim, quote, speak, deliver, render;
intone, chant;
spout, parrot, say parrot-fashion;
Judaism  daven
rare cantillate, intonate, bespout
give a recitation, say a poem, perform
informal do one's party piece
1.1Say aloud (a series of names, facts, etc.): she recited the dates and names of kings and queens
More example sentences
  • He recites names, dates, places and conversations from childhood up to now.
  • Her voice was cold as if she was merely reciting facts from a textbook.
  • When I read these names I feel like that young man reciting the names of the stations on the Paris metro.
enumerate, list, detail, itemize, reel off, rattle off;
recount, relate, describe, narrate, give an account of, run through, recapitulate, repeat, rehearse, specify, particularize, spell out



Example sentences
  • There were musicians, singers, reciters and storytellers from various parts of the county as well as guest entertainers from Kerry, Tipperary and Offaly.
  • Seldom had such a number of storytellers, singers and poetry reciters been together.
  • After working as a clerk, he moved to Melbourne, where he trained as a reciter, but in his mid-20s he became afflicted by a strange hoarseness whenever he started to perform.


Late Middle English (as a legal term in the sense 'state (a fact) in a document'): from Old French reciter or Latin recitare 'read out', from re- (expressing intensive force) + citare 'cite'.

  • This was first used as a legal term in the sense ‘state (a fact) in a document’, but the sense ‘repeat aloud something learned by heart’ soon followed. It comes via French from Latin recitare ‘read out’, from re- (a sense intensifier here) and citare ‘cite’, source of cite (Late Middle English) which originally meant to summon someone to court.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦cite

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