re·​peat | \ ri-ˈpēt How to pronounce repeat (audio) \
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 How to pronounce repeat (audio) , ˈrē-ˌpēt How to pronounce repeat (audio) \

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 How to pronounce repeat (audio) \

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 How to pronounce repeatability (audio) \ noun
repeatable \ ri-​ˈpē-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce repeatable (audio) \ 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

This 30-second series is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Glutes and Hamstrings With This Pulsing Exercise From Celebrity Trainer Erin Oprea," 28 Mar. 2019 The scans and testing would be repeated at intervals a year or more apart to track changes over time. Paula Spencer Scott, Woman's Day, "I Participated in a Clinical Study to See if I Had Dementia — Here's What I Learned," 26 Mar. 2019 However, in the internet age, even an on-the-record denial can sometimes have little impact in shutting down a story down once it has been repeated like wildfire across multiple outlets. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "How the Internet’s Obsession with the Royal Family Turned Toxic," 10 Feb. 2019 The colors and patterns are repeated in the adjoining rooms—a technique that's fitting for a house with this type of architecture, called American Foursquare, which features large, boxy rooms with wide openings. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Next Wave Design Duo Toledo Geller Shares its Most Jaw-Dropping Room Transformations," 30 Jan. 2019 Or perform reps of each move continuously for 45 seconds, resting 15 to 30 seconds between each, and repeat the sequence three times, suggests Lawson. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Work Your Core and Upper Body With This 5-Move TRX Circuit From Celebrity Trainer Jeanette Jenkins," 4 Apr. 2019 Some time in the near future, Hayabusa will repeat its sample collection mission, collecting some debris from the center of the impact site. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Watch the Hayabusa Spacecraft Blow Up an Asteroid Tonight," 4 Apr. 2019 Williams later repeats the pronunciation (at 4:39). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Have We Been Pronouncing Arya Stark's Name the Wrong Way All This Time?," 26 Mar. 2019 My staff made repeated requests to interview Dr. Ford during the past 11 days, even volunteering to fly to California to take her testimony. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "During Christine Blasey Ford’s Testimony, Contempt for Women Was on Full Display," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Though some of the names on the list are repeats from the most popular baby names of 2018, there are a few new additions to the list, including Lucas and Harper. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "The Most Popular Baby Names of 2019, So Far," 9 Apr. 2019 In that case, your medical provider can determine whether a repeat dose or surgical intervention is appropriate. SELF, "The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online," 8 Apr. 2019 French illustrator Monsieur Z created step-and-repeats and stage sets of playful Riviera scenes: think sunshine yellow chairs at the Monte Carlo Beach Club, and a rosy-hued rendering of the Prince's Palace. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "When Royalty Mingled With an Italian Elvis: Inside Bal de la Rose, Monaco’s Most Glamorous Night," 4 Apr. 2019 The dress itself is a repeat; Kate last wore it in 2017 at the Guild of Health Writers Conference in London. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Changes Up Her Shoe Game at the Royal Opera House," 16 Jan. 2019 The obsession that comes from a crush manifests in the best ways: posters decorating our bedroom walls, the name of the crush written repeatedly in notebooks with hearts, the crush’s image as a cell phone screensaver, their music on repeat. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 One repeat guest at the Overton House, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spent his mornings on the porch overlooking the ocean, reading, and writing. James Sullivan,, "Island’s Heritage Trail honors African-American Vineyarders," 9 May 2018 This is a product of people consuming the same cable news and radio shows on repeat, and that’s certainly true with this story. Hal Boedeker,, "HBO explores 'good guy with a gun,' Polk program," 26 Apr. 2018 Just put that on repeat—and not just for this speech. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Trump's Batshit Conversation with Trudeau Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg," 15 Mar. 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

22 Apr 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 How to pronounce repeat (audio) \
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 How to pronounce repeat (audio) \

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

Comments on repeat

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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