re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt \
repeated; repeating; repeats

Definition of repeat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to say or state again
b : to say over from memory : recite
c : to say after another
2a : 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


re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt, ˈrē-ˌpēt \

Definition of repeat (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : 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


re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt \

Definition of repeat (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being one that repeats an offense, achievement, or action a repeat burglar a repeat customer

Illustration of repeat

Illustration of repeat


repeat 1b

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from repeat


repeatability \ ri-​ˌpē-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
repeatable \ ri-​ˈpē-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of repeat in a Sentence


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.


Most of the customers are repeats. No, I don't want to watch that. It's a repeat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Transfer to plates and repeat with remaining rice cakes, adding more oil as necessary. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Crispy Caprese Cakes," 21 Dec. 2018 Copies of the playlist can be made so users can experience repeat listening sessions of specific compilations. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Similar to Spotify’s Daily Mix playlists," 18 Dec. 2018 Just one session will leave your face looking slim and chiseled, but repeated sessions will guarantee your best skin ever on the big day. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 2018 But what may be most telling about this process is how many don’t want to repeat it. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 bids: The weird ways cities wanted to woo Bezos," 27 Dec. 2018 Minding the Gap is particularly concerned with domestic violence — Rockford has some of the highest rates of domestic abuse in the state of Illinois and in the country at large — and how generational patterns of abuse repeat themselves. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The 21 best movies of 2018," 14 Dec. 2018 Now, nearly forty years later, some are wondering if history could repeat itself and China could lose the next war for the same reasons: inexperience in the ranks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Is the Chinese Military Ready for War?," 27 Nov. 2018 But we are not necessarily fated to continue this pattern: History repeats itself until people decide not to let it. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Uzo Aduba, Katie Holmes & Ieshia Evans Reenact Iconic Images of Social Change," 20 Nov. 2018 So when Tesla was burning a lot of cash earlier this year, there was every reason to expect history to repeat itself: for the big spending ahead of the Model 3's launch to turn into positive cash flow once Model 3 production had ramped up. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why almost everyone was wrong about Tesla’s cash flow situation," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rooms start at $79—we repeat, $79—and there’s no resort fee. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Black Friday Travel Deals of 2018," 23 Nov. 2018 Democrats in Michigan are warning Snyder that signing the bills could tar his legacy, a repeat of pleas that did not sway Walker. David Eggert, The Seattle Times, "GOP power play in Michigan must go through pragmatic Snyder," 17 Dec. 2018 This is in many ways a repeat of the problems the VA faced after the passing of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "VA’s software so SNAFU’d that vets were made homeless waiting for benefits," 12 Nov. 2018 The holidays are all about eating your weight in peppermint bark, listening to cheerful, wintery songs on repeat, and getting a bunch of random holiday cards from your family members. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "This "Riverdale" Cast Holiday Card Puts the Yearly Kardashian Christmas Card To Shame," 12 Dec. 2018 There's a hotel in Mexico where the pool flows right up to each individual room, so if margs and tacos on repeat weren't convincing enough to book a trip, this totally will be. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "This Might Be The Best Hotel Pool We've Ever Seen," 1 Oct. 2018 Saudi Arabia sees Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, as key to prevent a repeat of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that ousted several regional leaders and rattled the monarchies of the Gulf. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Saudi Prince Woos Mideast Allies Ahead of Tougher Test," 27 Nov. 2018 It was meant to improve transparency of political advertising on the platform and prevent a repeat of 2016, when Russian trolls were buying and running ads on Facebook. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 To prevent a repeat, the show tightened its internal controls, changing brands more often and adding and subtracting options, especially on cars, all to make memorizing prices that much more difficult. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "How one San Antonio man’s obsession with ‘The Price is Right’ almost destroyed the show," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repeat.' 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 repeat


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


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


1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for repeat


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

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Statistics for repeat

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repeat

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

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More Definitions for repeat



English Language Learners Definition of repeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say (something) again

: to say (something) after someone else has said it

: to say (something that you have memorized)



English Language Learners Definition of repeat (Entry 2 of 2)

: an occurrence in which something happens or is done again

: something that happens or is done again

: someone who does something again


re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt \
repeated; repeating

Kids Definition of repeat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to state or tell again Please repeat the question.
2 : to say from memory : recite I'll try to repeat what I heard that night.
3 : to make or do again I don't want to repeat a mistake.



Kids Definition of repeat (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of happening or being done again
2 : something happening or being done again


re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt, ˈrē-ˌ \

Medical Definition of repeat

: genetic duplication in which the duplicated parts are adjacent to each other along the chromosome

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More from Merriam-Webster on repeat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repeat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repeat

Spanish Central: Translation of repeat

Nglish: Translation of repeat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repeat for Arabic Speakers

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