rec·​i·​ta·​tion | \ˌre-sə-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of recitation 

1 : the act of enumerating a recitation of relevant details

2 : the act or an instance of reading or repeating aloud especially publicly

3a : a student's oral reply to questions

b : a class period especially in association with and for review of a lecture

Examples of recitation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The costumed historians will make the recitation interactive, breaking down the declaration line-by-line, asking the audience interpretive questions, and offering analysis relevant to the present. Graham Ambrose,, "Have a historical Fourth at Old Sturbridge Village," 26 June 2018 That is followed by a salute to the flag and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Gina Grillo,, "Glenview Flag Day ceremony honors the old, looks toward the new," 19 June 2018 Some on the plane tried to figure out the entertainment system on their screens (one found his way to an Indian movie, another to a Quran recitation). Mujib Mashal, New York Times, "Their Road to Turkey Was Long and Grueling, but the Short Flight Home Was Crueler," 16 June 2018 Scribes transcribing the recitations would have heard different versions depending on the storyteller, so there were likely various versions of the Homer epics works floating around the ancient world. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet," 11 July 2018 The night began with a recitation of a chapter from the Quran in Arabic, followed by an English translation. Alaa Elassar, ajc, "Mayor Bottoms hosts Ramadan dinner for Atlanta Muslim community," 30 May 2018 There's a daily roll call, Pledge of Allegiance, singing of America, and recitation of the Lord's Prayer, with gymnastics, ballet, and cooking classes once per week. Nadine Jolie Courtney, Town & Country, "These Preschools Are the Ivy League of Early Education," 11 Oct. 2016 Ice and isolation are wielded as metaphors in the narrator’s potted recitation of her lonely childhood, her failed relationships and her halting development as an artist. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicles: The Intoxicating Attraction of the Abyss," 8 June 2018 Simply gulp lungs full of air for a long recitation of the 14 Emmy Awards and the nine times he was named national broadcaster of the year. Bryce Miller,, "Essence of Dick Enberg stretched far beyond sportscasting persona," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recitation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recitation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for recitation

The first known use of recitation was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of recitation

: the act of saying or repeating something out loud for an audience

: the act of describing or listing many things in a series


rec·​i·​ta·​tion | \ˌre-sə-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of recitation

1 : the act or an instance of saying something out loud

2 : the act of saying something in a particular order

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Comments on recitation

What made you want to look up recitation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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