repeat

1 of 3

verb

re·​peat ri-ˈpēt How to pronounce repeat (audio)
repeated; repeating; repeats

transitive verb

1
a
: to say or state again
b
: to say over from memory : recite
c
: to say after another
2
a
: to make, do, or perform again
repeat an experiment
b
: to make appear again
the curtains repeat the wallpaper pattern
will repeat the program tomorrow
c
: to go through or experience again
had to repeat third grade
3
: to express or present (oneself) again in the same words, terms, or form

intransitive verb

: to say, do, or accomplish something again
especially : to win something (such as a sports championship) another time in succession
repeatability noun
repeatable adjective

repeat

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: something repeated : repetition
b
: a musical passage to be repeated in performance
also : a sign placed before and after such a passage
c
: a usually transcribed repetition of a radio or television program
d
: a duplication of genetic material (such as a sequence of nucleotides) in which the duplicated parts are adjacent to each other along the chromosome
2
: the act of repeating

Illustration of repeat

Illustration of repeat
  • repeat 1b

repeat

3 of 3

adjective

re·​peat ri-ˈpēt How to pronounce repeat (audio)
: of, relating to, or being one that repeats an offense, achievement, or action
a repeat burglar
a repeat customer

Examples of repeat in a Sentence

Verb Will you repeat the question? He kept repeating the same thing over and over. He often has to ask people to repeat themselves because he's a little deaf. Repeat after me: “I promise to do my best…”. You are simply repeating, in slightly different words, what has been said already. My five-year-old can repeat her favorite stories word for word. Noun Most of the customers are repeats. No, I don't want to watch that. It's a repeat.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Until the trend repeats, and what's old feels new again. Kai McNamee, NPR, 11 Apr. 2024 Cicadas repeat this movement on either side 300 to 400 times a second to create their unique sound. The Courier-Journal, 10 Apr. 2024 For a taste, nap, rest, and repeat experience, Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill is an excellent choice. Mitti Hicks, Essence, 10 Apr. 2024 Coachella said on social media Tuesday that the popular indie-rock band would play the festival’s first weekend, which is scheduled to run Friday through Sunday at Indio’s Empire Polo Club before repeating April 19-21. Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2024 Since then, the phrase has caught on, repeated by President Joe Biden, and printed on t-shirts for sale. Jacob Fenston, NPR, 30 Mar. 2024 This process had to be repeated 17 times during the flight. Richard Selcer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Mar. 2024 All comedians have tics and crutches, even the very good ones who aim to generate moments that feel spontaneous and true in lieu of repeating an act that’s grown stale. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024 Her reflection is a warning not to repeat history now that Beyonce has ascended to the top of those same charts. Kimberly Bryant, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024
Noun
The Toy Story movies were played on repeat in the Marks household, to the point that multiple DVDs broke and were replaced. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images Many sportfishing guides say more than 80% of their yearly business dried up after last year's closure, leading to widespread fears of a repeat for this year. Chris Spinder, CBS News, 11 Apr. 2024 Fans of indie, new wave and dream pop may want to play the film’s soundtrack on repeat, too. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 The song was a great encapsulation of country music, made for brilliant line dancing videos and has been on repeat for months. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2024 Classical purists might be surprised to learn that 21st century artists like Charlie Pugh, Jason Derulo and others also stay on repeat. Amy Carleton, Charlotte Observer, 4 Apr. 2024 Salma Hayek has had Cowboy Carter on repeat just like the rest of the Bey Hive! Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 4 Apr. 2024 The risk, for other internet cables, is a repeat of the Rubymar. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 1 Apr. 2024 Place squeezed potato mixture in a large clean bowl; repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Julia Levy, Southern Living, 28 Mar. 2024
Adjective
In a bid to impose heavier penalties on repeat criminal offenders, top Southern California law enforcement officials announced a new initiative Wednesday to target and try more suspects under federal guidelines. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 That’s because Hardman’s counterpart at CVS, Ben Dugan, had connected a group of repeat shoplifters at the chain to the pawnshop. Jeannette Neumann, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2024 The authors of the report wrote that patients with persistent false-positive results and a history of autoimmune disease with rheumatoid factor may benefit from repeat COVID testing with a different brand of rapid antigen test. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 1 Mar. 2024 This can be achieved by keeping violent offenders incarcerated and preventing bail for repeat violent offenders. Steve Hershey, Baltimore Sun, 22 Jan. 2024 The news comes as the organization warns of the yet unknown dangers of repeat COVID infection, which can occur without symptoms. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 12 Jan. 2024 On the left, progressives managed to persuade centrist Democrats that Clinton-era tough-on-crime policies, such as lengthy prison terms for drug crimes and mandatory life sentences for repeat violent offenders, had done more harm than good. Neil Gross, The Atlantic, 22 Dec. 2023 Just about everyone in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room has moved past their latest Super Bowl triumph by this point, turning their focus toward the Detroit Lions in Thursday night’s NFL opener and the prospect of becoming the first repeat NFL champions in nearly two decades. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 7 Sep. 2023 After being accepted to the University of Chicago Law School, Gad found herself before a Hennepin County judge due to mandatory minimum sentencing for repeat drug offenders. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 17 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'repeat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English repeten, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French repeter, from Old French, from Latin repetere to return to, repeat, from re- + petere to go to, seek — more at feather

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of repeat was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near repeat

Cite this Entry

“Repeat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repeat. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

repeat

1 of 2 verb
re·​peat ri-ˈpēt How to pronounce repeat (audio)
1
a
: to say or state again
repeated the question
b
: to say from memory : recite
repeat a poem
c
: to say after another
repeat the following words after me
2
: to make, do, or perform again
repeat a mistake
3
: to present (oneself) again in the same words or way
hate repeating myself
repeatable adjective

repeat

2 of 2 noun
1
: the act of repeating
2
: something repeated
3
a
: a musical passage to be repeated in performance
b
: a sign that consists of two dots one above the other and that is placed before and after a musical passage to be repeated
4
: a repetition of a radio or television program

Medical Definition

repeat

noun
re·​peat ri-ˈpēt, ˈrē-ˌ How to pronounce repeat (audio)
: genetic duplication in which the duplicated parts are adjacent to each other along the chromosome

More from Merriam-Webster on repeat

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!