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Related to repetition: rhetorical question


1. The act or process or an instance of repeating or being repeated.
2. A recitation or recital, especially of prepared or memorized material.

[Middle English repeticioun, from Old French repeticion, from Latin repetītiō, repetītiōn-, from repetītus, past participle of repetere, to repeat; see repeat.]

rep′e·ti′tion·al adj.


1. the act or an instance of repeating; reiteration
2. a thing, word, action, etc, that is repeated
3. a replica or copy
4. (Law) civil law Scots law the recovery or repayment of money paid or received by mistake, as when the same bill has been paid twice




(ˌrɛp ɪˈtɪʃ ən)

1. the act of repeating; a repeated action, performance, etc.
2. repeated utterance; reiteration.
3. a reproduction or copy.
[1375–1425; late Middle English (< Old French repeticion) < Latin repetītiō=repetī, variant s. of repetere to repeat + -tiō -tion]




  1. Continue unceasingly like a drip from a leaking faucet —Anon
  2. Iteration, like friction, is likely to generate heat instead of progress —George Eliot
  3. Kept on repeating the words like a talisman —Edith Wharton
  4. Life as repetitive as the seasons —J. B. Priestly
  5. Like warmed-up cabbage served at each repast the repetition kills the wretch at last —Juvenal
  6. Monotonous … like a tap with a worn-out washer dripping … in a kitchen sink —Gerald Kersch

    In Kersh’s novel, Repetition, the dripping faucet image describes a character’s voice.

  7. Recited tirelessly as a language record —Marge Piercy

    In Piercy’s poem, A Cold and Married War, the narrator is reciting her sins and errors.

  8. (Rages … which seemed to) recur in cycles, like menstruation — Ursule Molinaro
  9. (Thought) repeated like a lesson —William H. Gass
  10. Repeated like a rhyme —Amy Lowell
  11. Repeats … like an advertisement in neon —Marge Piercy
  12. Repetitive as hieroglyphs —Derek Walcott
  13. (Disembodied and) repetitive as the sea in a shell —Elizabeth Spencer
  14. [The sweep hand of a clock] went around and around like a door-to-door salesman —Raymond Chandler



hark back To revert, to go back, to retrace one’s steps, to return to an earlier subject; to recall, to revive. This expression was originally used in hunting in reference to hounds who returned along the trail in order to pick up a lost scent. It has been used in its extended, figurative sense since the early 19th century.

He has to hark back again to find the scent of his argument. (Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books, 1882)

harp on To dwell on tediously, to repeat endlessly and monotonously, to belabor, to beat into the ground; also to harp on one or the same string. Ancient harpists reputedly played on only one string in order to demonstrate more fully their skill on the instrument. The phrase appears in Richard Grafton’s A Chronicle at Large and Mere History of the Affairs of England (1568), where it is attributed to Sir Thomas More:

The Cardinal made a countenance to the Lord Haward that he should harp no more upon that string.

The expression and its variants date from the 16th century.

return to one’s muttons To get back to the subject at hand, to return to the point at issue; to stick to the point, to get back on track. Little known in the U.S., this British expression derives from the French Revenons à nos moutons ‘Let’s get back to our sheep.’ The line originated as an often repeated admonition in an early French play by Blanchet, L’Avocat Pathelin, in which the plaintiff continually tried to discredit the defense’s lawyer by claiming he had stolen from him. The judge’s attempts to concentrate on the charge against the defendant, that he had stolen sheep, were marked by addressing the line Revenons à nos moutons to the plaintiff. The phrase was much quoted by Rabelais, which accounts for its wider currency.

ride a hobbyhorse See OBSESSION.

ring the changes To repeat the same thing in different ways; to vary the manner in which one performs a routine task. Originally, ring the changes referred to performing all possible permutations in ringing a set of bells. The expression is commonly applied figuratively to describe changing the order of a series of words, restating a fact or opinion in several different ways, or varying one’s technique in accomplishing an otherwise routine task.

They shall only ring you over a few changes upon three words: crying, Faith, Hope and Charity; Hope, Faith and Charity, and so on. (John Eachard, The Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy and Religion Enquired Into, 1670)

run that by me again A somewhat rude request to have information repeated, usually (but not necessarily) similar in tone to “Come again.” The likelihood is that the expression’s origin lies in the electronic re-runs and replays made commonplace by tape recordings and videotape.


ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.repetition - an event that repeats; "the events today were a repeat of yesterday's"
periodic event, recurrent event - an event that recurs at intervals
sequence - several repetitions of a melodic phrase in different keys
cycle - a periodically repeated sequence of events; "a cycle of reprisal and retaliation"
rematch, replay - something (especially a game) that is played again
recurrence, return - happening again (especially at regular intervals); "the return of spring"
2.repetition - the act of doing or performing again
continuance, continuation - the act of continuing an activity without interruption
echolalia - (psychiatry) mechanical and meaningless repetition of the words of another person (as in schizophrenia)
iteration - doing or saying again; a repeated performance
redundancy - repetition of an act needlessly
reiteration, reduplication - the act of repeating over and again (or an instance thereof)
copying - an act of copying
action replay, instant replay, replay - the immediate rebroadcast of some action (especially sports action) that has been recorded on videotape
renewal - the act of renewing
replication - the repetition of an experiment in order to test the validity of its conclusion; "scientists will not believe an experimental result until they have seen at least one replication"
3.repetition - the repeated use of the same word or word pattern as a rhetorical device
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
anadiplosis, reduplication - repetition of the final words of a sentence or line at the beginning of the next
epanalepsis - repetition after intervening words
epanodos - repetition of a group of words in reverse order
epiphora, epistrophe - repetition of the ends of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.
gemination - the doubling of a word or phrase (as for rhetorical effect)
ploce - (rhetoric) repetition to gain special emphasis or extend meaning
polyptoton - repetition of a word in a different case or inflection in the same sentence; "My own heart's heart"
epanaphora, anaphora - repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses
anaphora - using a pronoun or similar word instead of repeating a word used earlier
symploce - repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning and another at the end of successive clauses, i.e., simultaneous use of anaphora and epistrophe


1. recurrence, repeating, reappearance, duplication, echo He wants to avoid repetition of the confusion.
2. repeating, redundancy, replication, duplication, restatement, iteration, reiteration, tautology, recapitulation, repetitiousness He could have cut much of the repetition and saved pages.


1. The act or process of repeating:
2. Imitative reproduction, as of the style of another:


[ˌrepɪˈtɪʃən] Nrepetición f


[ˌrɛpɪˈtɪʃən] n
[event] → répétition f
(saying something again)répétition f


nWiederholung f; there are six repetitions of the patterndas Muster wiederholt sich sechsmal


[ˌrɛpɪˈtɪʃn] nripetizione f


(rəˈpiːt) verb
1. to say or do again. Would you repeat those instructions, please?
2. to say (something one has heard) to someone else, sometimes when one ought not to. Please do not repeat what I've just told you.
3. to say (something) one has learned by heart. to repeat a poem.
something which is repeated. I'm tired of seeing all these repeats on television; (also adjective) a repeat performance.
reˈpeated adjective
said, done etc many times. In spite of repeated warnings, he went on smoking.
reˈpeatedly adverb
many times. I've asked him for it repeatedly.
repetition (repəˈtiʃən) noun
(an) act of repeating.
repetitive (rəˈpetətiv) adjective
doing, saying, the same thing too often. His speeches are very repetitive; My job is a bit repetitive.
reˈpetitively adverb
reˈpetitiveness noun
repeat oneself
to repeat what one has already said. Listen carefully because I don't want to have to repeat myself.

to repeat (not repeat again) the lessons.


n repetición f
References in classic literature ?
One fierce and wild- looking warrior approached the chief, bearing a load of the brush, and pointing exultingly to the deep red stains with which it was sprinkled, uttered his joy in Indian yells, whose meaning Heyward was only enabled to comprehend by the frequent repetition of the name "La Longue Carabine
I know a little of the principle of design, and I know this thing was not arranged on any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I ever heard of.
The tragedy is enacted with as continual a repetition as that of a popular drama on a holiday, and, nevertheless, is felt as deeply, perhaps, as when an hereditary noble sinks below his order.
They spent a good deal of time, also, asleep in their accustomed corners, with their chairs tilted back against the walls; awaking, however, once or twice in the forenoon, to bore one another with the several thousandth repetition of old sea-stories and mouldy jokes, that had grown to be passwords and countersigns among them.
With this I had the full image of a repetition of what had already occurred.
Mysteriously jetted into the clear moonlight, or starlight, as the case might be; disappearing again for one whole day, or two days, or three; and somehow seeming at every distinct repetition to be advancing still further and further in our van, this solitary jet seemed for ever alluring us on.
So Jurgis went on meditating; until finally, when he had been an hour or two in the hall, there began to prepare itself a repetition of the dismal catastrophe of the night before.
Not right off, of course, for the native of those islands does not, as a rule, dissolve upon the early applications of a humorous thing; but the fifth time I told it, they began to crack in places; the eight time I told it, they began to crumble; at the twelfth repetition they fell apart in chunks; and at the fifteenth they disintegrated, and I got a broom and swept them up.
I am told that in a German concert or opera, they hardly ever encore a song; that though they may be dying to hear it again, their good breeding usually preserves them against requiring the repetition.
He woke at dawn with one more repetition of this horror, and then he resolved to meddle no more with that treacherous sleep.
she would not give him such a troublesome office for the world,"brought on the desired repetition of entreaties and assurances,and a very few minutes settled the business.
And as she could now have nothing more painful to hear on the subject than had already been told, she did not mistrust her own ability of going through a repetition of particulars with composure.