Other forms: recitations

If you've ever repeated a rhyming poem from memory in front of an audience, you've given a recitation.

The noun recitation comes from the word "recite." When you recite, or say something you've memorized, you give a recitation. This happens a lot in school and in religious traditions, but you might also hear your know-it-all friend give an impromptu recitation of a famous director's films or every Beatles song in alphabetical order. The word comes from the Latin prefix re, "again," and the word citare, "to summon." Summoning again from memory is recitation.

Definitions of recitation
  1. noun
    a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance
    “the program included songs and recitations of well-loved poems”
    synonyms: reading, recital
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    recitation of a speech from memory with studied gestures and intonation as an exercise in elocution or rhetoric
    type of:
    oral presentation, public speaking, speaking, speechmaking
    delivering an address to a public audience
  2. noun
    written matter that is recited from memory
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    type of:
    written works (especially in books or magazines)
  3. noun
    systematic training by multiple repetitions
    synonyms: drill, exercise, practice, practice session
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    fire drill
    an exercise intended to train people in duties and escape procedures to be followed in case of fire
    manual, manual of arms
    (military) a prescribed drill in handling a rifle
    military drill
    training in marching and the use of weapons
    (psychology) a form of practice; repetition of information (silently or aloud) in order to keep it in short-term memory
    dry run, rehearsal
    a practice session in preparation for a public performance (as of a play or speech or concert)
    brushup, review
    practice intended to polish performance or refresh the memory
    (American football) practice play between a football team's squads
    sparring with an imaginary opponent (for exercise or training)
    target practice
    practice in shooting at targets
    close-order drill
    (military) military drill of troops in standard marching (shoulder-to-shoulder)
    drill on a barracks square
    dress rehearsal
    a full uninterrupted rehearsal in costumes shortly before the first performance
    an uninterrupted rehearsal
    a first perfunctory rehearsal of a theatrical production in which actors read their lines from the script and move as directed
    rub up
    a review that refreshes your memory
    type of:
    grooming, preparation, training
    activity leading to skilled behavior
  4. noun
    a regularly scheduled session as part of a course of study
    synonyms: class period, course session
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    type of:
    a meeting devoted to a particular activity
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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘recitation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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