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From Middle English repeten, from Old French repeter, from Latin repetō, repetere, from the prefix re- (again) + peto (attack, beseech).



repeat (third-person singular simple present repeats, present participle repeating, simple past and past participle repeated)

  1. (transitive) To do or say again (and again).
    The scientists repeated the experiment in order to confirm the result.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.
    • 1942, Franklin Roosevelt, 1:12 from the start, in Roosevelt Answers Critics - 1942 (1942)[1], British Pathé:
      From Berlin and Tokyo and Rome, we have been described as a nation of weaklings- playboys- who would hire British soldiers or Russian soldiers or Chinese soldiers to do our fighting for us. Let them repeat that now. Let them tell that to General McArthur and his men. Let them tell that to the sailors who today are hitting hard in the far waters of the Pacific. Let them tell that to the boys in the Flying Fortresses. Let them tell that to the Marines.
  2. (transitive, medicine, pharmacy) To refill (a prescription).
  3. (intransitive) To happen again; recur.
  4. (transitive) To echo the words of (a person).
    • 2008, Ken Jensen, Ronda Del Boccio, It Takes Guts to Be Me: How an Ex-marine Beat Bipolar Disorder:
      Their rationale with repeating me was that the prior program had not been of sufficient quality to teach me the error of my ways.
  5. (intransitive) To strike the hours, as a watch does.
  6. (obsolete) To make trial of again; to undergo or encounter again.
    • a. 1687, Edmund Waller, The Battel of the Summer Islands:
      He [] repeats the danger of the burning town.
  7. (law, Scotland) To repay or refund (an excess received).
  8. (procedure word, military) To call in a previous artillery fire mission with the same ammunition and method either on the coordinates or adjusted either because destruction of the target was insufficient or missed.
    Add 100, left 50. Repeat, over.
    Use "say again" instead of repeat on the radio. Repeat will bring in artillery fire.
  9. To commit fraud in an election by voting more than once for the same candidate.


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repeat (plural repeats)

  1. An iteration; a repetition.
    We gave up after the third repeat because it got boring.
  2. A television program shown after its initial presentation; a rerun.
  3. (medicine, pharmacy) A refill of a prescription.
  4. (genetics, biochemistry) A pattern of nucleic acids that occur in multiple copies throughout a genome (or of amino acids in a protein).
  5. (music) A mark in music notation directing a part to be repeated.


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