Definition of repeat in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈpiːt/


1 [reporting verb] Say again something one has already said: [with direct speech]: ‘Are you hurt?’ he repeated [with object]: Billy repeated his question [with clause]: Ann repeated that she was very comfortable
More example sentences
  • I don't think I need to repeat what I've already said about this film.
  • Even if you've read everything that Moore has ever written, and know this already, it bears repeating.
  • The name Susanna is also repeated, echoing that same vowel and sibilant.
1.1Say again (something said or written by someone else): he repeated the words after me [with clause]: she repeated what I’d said
More example sentences
  • We can take that small gift, and rather than give in to the emptiness, the ever-echo that merely repeats us back to us - we can sing through it, and listen for something else.
  • Similarly, Lee repeats Carter's greeting to his black buddies and creates many funny situations.
  • He also repeated Judge Woolsey's famous remark about Ulysses being ‘emetic rather than erotic’ though he did not refer the court to his source.
say again, restate, reiterate, go through again, go over again, run through again, iterate, rehearse, recapitulate
informal recap
rare reprise, ingeminate
recite, quote, reproduce;
echo, parrot, regurgitate;
say again, restate
informal trot out
1.2 (repeat oneself) Say or do the same thing again: she was fretful and kept repeating herself
More example sentences
  • This way, it took me three years to finalise the script,’ informs the film - maker, who asserts that he never repeats himself.
  • He repeats himself, something broadcasters of his calibre rarely do.
  • Mountstuart also contradicts and repeats himself, as diarists tend to do.
2 [with object] Do (something) again or more than once: earlier experiments were repeated on a larger scale
More example sentences
  • He repeats it once too often, and it begs the question, ‘From whom?’
  • Because it is becoming less and less likely every day that they will prosper by attempting to repeat the actions of the Baby Boomers who came before them.
  • Gass repeated the experiment dozens of times - and each time the blade stopped immediately.
do again, redo, replicate, duplicate, perform again
recurrent, frequent, persistent, unremitting, sustained, continual, incessant, constant, ceaseless;
regular, periodic, many, numerous, a great many, very many, countless
informal more … than one can shake a stick at
2.1Broadcast (a television or radio programme) again: the thirteen episodes from the first two series were constantly repeated
More example sentences
  • Members of the audience asked whether the TV series, The Dancer's Body, would be repeated.
  • If I have any other complaints, it's this: after issuing a stellar box set the previous October, why repeat one of the episodes from that set here?
rebroadcast, rerun, reshow, replay
2.2Undertake (a course or period of instruction) again: Mark had to repeat first and second grades
More example sentences
  • I missed 2 weeks of school and almost had to repeat second grade.
  • Young children often repeat grades because teachers or parents feel they have not acquired the appropriate academic or social skills to advance to the next grade.
  • I was in the classroom with Merce for over ten years and not once did he repeat a class.
2.3 (repeat itself) Occur again in the same way or form: I don’t intend to let history repeat itself
More example sentences
  • While we do not necessarily expect history to repeat itself, a dollar rally may still take longer to materialise than many now seem to expect.
  • Our linguistic history is repeating itself in this latest verbal revolution.
reoccur, occur again, happen again, recur, reappear
2.4 [no object] US Illegally vote more than once in an election.
2.5 [no object] North American Attain an achievement again, especially by winning a championship for the second consecutive time: the first team in nineteen years to repeat as NBA champions
More example sentences
  • Stu Ungar, who repeated as champion that year, was a coke-addled enfant terrible whose wavelength happened to be out of phase with that of the London man of letters.
3 [no object] chiefly British (Of food) be tasted intermittently for some time after being swallowed as a result of belching or indigestion: that cucumber repeated on me for hours


1Something that occurs or is done again: the final will be a repeat of last year
More example sentences
  • As many recall, the soybean market, along with other grains to a more limited extent, went through the roof during the past year; the coming year may perhaps be a repeat in some similar way.
  • And, clearly, the majority of Russians are averse to any repeat of the terror employed by the Soviets in 1918.
  • Because there'll be no repeat, we believe ourselves safe, and tomorrow we'll be able to pretend that nothing happened.
repetition, duplication, replication, rerun;
duplicate, replica, copy;
rare ditto
1.1A repeated broadcast of a television or radio programme: she goes home alone to TV dinners and repeats of ‘I Love Lucy’
More example sentences
  • By the way, if you missed the show, you can catch the repeat on Radio 4 at 5pm on Sunday, 27 April.
  • Presuming for a second that no one has ever watched repeats of the television show on Nick at Nite, the premise is that the central female character is a real-life honest to goodness witch, whose family are the only ones aware of her secret.
  • We'd do a film together if somebody came up with an idea that wasn't a remake or a repeat or a sequel.
rerun, replay, rebroadcast, reshowing
1.2 [as modifier] Occurring, done, or used more than once: a repeat prescription a repeat offender
More example sentences
  • However, they can also suffer from static displays which, having been viewed once, discourage repeat visits.
  • Although some traders practiced fraud, others worked hard to acquire reputations for fair business practices in order to encourage repeat sales.
  • This is a true crime for which they are repeat offenders.
1.3A consignment of goods similar to one already received.
1.4A decorative pattern which is repeated uniformly over a surface: [as modifier]: rugs with simple repeat patterns
More example sentences
  • In subdued colours they comprise practically endless pattern repeats.
  • A repeat of the pattern after a pause would take commodity prices substantially higher.
  • His growing obsession with time and with adjusting all kinds of clocks from local Taipei to Paris time is amusing, but his actions are essentially repeats of a pattern, going in the same direction.
1.5 Music A passage intended to be repeated.
Example sentences
  • The melody in the tenor part was also often repeated, but not always to synchronize with the rhythmic repeat.
1.6 Music A mark indicating a passage to be repeated.
Example sentences
  • The term was commonly used in Baroque instrumental music, such as concertos, and regularly in minuet-and-trio structures, to indicate the repeat of the minuet.
  • He gives us few tempo indications, but gives us repeats that we can arbitrarily take or not.


Late Middle English: from Old French repeter, from Latin repetere, from re- 'back' + petere 'seek'.

  • compete from early 17th century:

    This word is from Latin competere in its late sense ‘strive or contend for (something)’: the elements here are com- ‘together’ and petere ‘aim at, seek’. As well as giving us competition (early 17th century) this is also the source of competent (Late Middle English); while petere gives us: impetus [M17] and impetuous (Late Middle English) ‘seek towards, assail’; petition (Middle English) an act of seeking for something; petulant (late 16th century) originally immodest in what you seek; and repeat (Late Middle English) seek again.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦peat

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