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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
recite a poem (=say it without reading it)
▪ The little girl was standing up, reciting a poem.
recite poetry (=say it to people from memory)
▪ Occasionally, my father would recite the poetry of Baudelaire.
recite/repeat a mantra
▪ He closed his eyes and began to recite a Buddhist mantra.
say/recite the rosary
▪ Three nuns knelt there, reciting the rosary.
▪ Usually, the children recite what has made them happy lately, and what has made them sad.
▪ Suppose you were required, as a child, to recite a poem in front of your class.
▪ The playground was empty but he could hear the sing-song voices of children reciting tables as he paused by the railings.
▪ With every step her energy crackled; scarcely knowing at first what she said, she found herself reciting the lines from Cymbeline.
▪ All Erma had to do was recite the lines.
▪ Oh, he was covered in dirt and spoke like an actor reciting his lines but he made one mistake.
▪ Henry Arias, who never spoke in class, recited his lines almost flawlessly from memory.
▪ Dinah began to recite the lines from Cymbeline.
▪ Don't do it automatically, as though you were reciting a shopping list.
▪ And then recite a list of all the things she resented.
▪ He recited a list of biblical names at high speed into the machine, expecting it to stumble and clear its throat.
▪ She then proceeded to recite a bitter list of all the failed marriages which we had in our midst or knew of.
▪ But he was reciting a list of my premolars and incisors and showed no interest.
▪ John sits down on the bed and recites a mantra under his breath.
▪ Furthermore, unless all students are required to recite the Pledge, there is no violation of the free exercise clause either.
▪ Feeley, who had not seen the inside of a church in over thirty years, started reciting the pledge of allegiance.
▪ The court considered it important that individual students were not compelled to recite the Pledge.
▪ When school officials insisted on their reciting the official pledge, the students went to court.
▪ O'Lone recited a poem about a little house with roses at the gate and a bird in the tree that went tra-la-la.
▪ Suppose you were required, as a child, to recite a poem in front of your class.
▪ She recited a poem to him that was well-known in the district.
▪ She had a circle of people around her, listening to her reciting a poem!
▪ Unfortunately, Petherbridge rather undermines this theory by reciting his own atrociously-rhymed poem.
▪ As luck has it, the school where Evita began reciting poems in the sixth grade is just across the street.
▪ He came because he could recite poems, particularly Rudyard Kipling, and at great length.
▪ She knew the origin of every obscure couplet imaginable, and could usually recite the whole poem which went with it.
▪ One recollection of Leonard's concerns his reciting a prayer at Synagogue, which he got wrong.
▪ The rabbi bowed as low as if he were reciting the Modim Anakhnu prayer in the synagogue.
▪ He can even recite a prayer in the language of the Sioux, albeit with a Wiltshire accent.
▪ All over the city, all over Ireland, now, people would be pausing to recite a prayer.
▪ She said the best part is teaching people the significance and power of reciting the rosary.
▪ Three elderly nuns are on a bench in front of them; they are reciting the rosary.
▪ Jaq now surmised that Googol was reciting his own verses under his breath, polishing old ones, composing new ones.
▪ A more expensive model recites a different Koranic verse at each hour.
▪ I would like the Imam Sahib to recite the opening verses of the Koran.
▪ They recite the verse earnestly and proudly.
▪ Tikhon knows the passage by heart and recites it word for word.
▪ I repeated the prayer again and again, I recited the words obsessively all through the rainy afternoon and into the night.
▪ She went to the door and he recited the words until she had gone out and shut the door behind her.
▪ He began to recite an act of resignation to the Divine Will.
▪ As luck has it, the school where Evita began reciting poems in the sixth grade is just across the street.
▪ Felix's wife began to recite her poetry, and wondered about his air fare, and gave him some coffee.
▪ Then, as I often did when I was alone at sea, I began to recite Shakespeare.
▪ Dinah began to recite the lines from Cymbeline.
▪ Detective Clark recited the facts of the case.
▪ Each student had to recite a poem.
▪ After taking away our tablets, he made us recite what we had written.
▪ All the while her father was reciting, her lips moved silently.
▪ Buerger said she can recite phrases from the film.
▪ Felix's wife began to recite her poetry, and wondered about his air fare, and gave him some coffee.
▪ He can even recite a prayer in the language of the Sioux, albeit with a Wiltshire accent.
▪ The court considered it important that individual students were not compelled to recite the Pledge.
▪ This may seem meaningless to non-churchgoers and trivial to churchgoers since it is part of the Athanasian Creed recited every Sunday.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Recite \Re*cite"\, v. i. To repeat, pronounce, or rehearse, as before an audience, something prepared or committed to memory; to rehearse a lesson learned.


Recite \Re*cite"\, n. A recital. [Obs.]
--Sir W. Temple.


Recite \Re*cite"\ (r[-e]*s[imac]t"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Recited; p. pr. & vb. n. Reciting.] [F. r['e]citer, fr. L. recitare, recitatum; pref. re- re- + citare to call or name, to cite. See Cite.]

  1. To repeat, as something already prepared, written down, committed to memory, or the like; to deliver from a written or printed document, or from recollection; to rehearse; as, to recite the words of an author, or of a deed or covenant.

  2. To tell over; to go over in particulars; to relate; to narrate; as, to recite past events; to recite the particulars of a voyage.

  3. To rehearse, as a lesson to an instructor.

  4. (Law) To state in or as a recital. See Recital,

  5. Syn: To rehearse; narrate; relate; recount; describe; recapitulate; detail; number; count.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., from Old French reciter (12c.) and directly from Latin recitare "read aloud, read out, repeat from memory, declaim," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + citare "to summon" (see cite). Related: Recited; reciting.


vb. 1 (context transitive English) To repeat aloud some passage, poem or other text previously memorized, often before an audience 2 (context transitive English) To list or enumerate something 3 (context intransitive English) To deliver a recitation

  1. v. recite in elocution [syn: declaim]

  2. repeat aloud from memory; "she recited a poem"; "The pupil recited his lesson for the day"

  3. render verbally, "recite a poem"; "retell a story" [syn: retell]

  4. narrate or give a detailed account of; "Tell what happened"; "The father told a story to his child" [syn: tell, narrate, recount]

  5. specify individually; "She enumerated the many obstacles she had encountered"; "The doctor recited the list of possible side effects of the drug" [syn: enumerate, itemize, itemise]

Usage examples of "recite".

The rules, recited by a young Andersen accountant named Rick Causey, were fairly simple.

Or, as a good anticlerical, is he mocking the stupidity of the religious cliches Panurge recites?

Just as he could input, store and recite the successive approximations for figuring out where and when to launch radio-transmitter-tagged asteroids toward the nearest mining ship, or toward the Moon itself, once Lawler and Garrick used their computers to calculate those approximations, then transmitted the figures to him in his cabin.

And because it was necessary that I should likewise be a minister unto Osiris, there was no long delay: for in the night after, appeared unto me one of that order, covered with linnen robes, holding in his hands speares wrapped in Ivie, and other things not convenient to declare, which then he left in my chamber, and sitting in my seate, recited to me such things as were necessary for the sumptuous banket of mine entrie.

Esmay could recite them forwards and backwards, without knowing for sure if she and Barin had done anything wrong, or if going where they had talked about going was forbidden.

On another occasion I had helped the Minids outlast a siege of giant hyenas by reciting a story and obediently shooting one of the besiegers with my besottedness to wholesale ingestion by a leopard.

What Ofelia knew, and Bilong did not, was that the creatures knew exactly where the pickups were, and amused themselves by standing under them reciting .

Baudolino, the Poet, Boron, and Kyot knelt in prayer, while at a slight distance Solomon murmured the litanies that the Jews habitually recite.

As with many such petitions, mine recited that the defendant was being unjustly held, that the defendant was innocent, that hitherto unknown exculpatory evidence had recently come to light, and that the interests of justice would best be served by an expedited hearing on same.

He could hear Malibu in the backseat reciting the litany of an aircraft in distress.

As he had recited the Gayatri mantra, standing waist-deep in the icy flowing water, taking his acamana, he had been aware of eyes watching his back.

He used to recite all the articles in the Ministerialist journals, as if he were saying something original, and in giving his opinion at the Council Board he paraphrased the remarks of the previous speaker.

Then he recited the Misereatur and the Indulgentiam, dipped his right thumb in the oil, and began to give extreme unction.

This is like the school for morals offered by the sermons, the precepts, and the tales which our instructors recite for our especial benefit.

While he recited the message, Randy scuttled toward his ankles, palped his trouser cuffs, and began to climb his leg.