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[ri-sahyt-l] /rɪˈsaɪt l/
a musical entertainment given usually by a single performer or by a performer and one or more accompanists.
a similar entertainment in a field other than music:
a dance recital.
a program or concert by dance or music students to demonstrate their achievements or progress.
an act or instance of reciting.
a formal or public delivery of something memorized.
a detailed statement.
an account, narrative, or description:
He gave a recital of the things he'd been doing since we'd last seen him.
Origin of recital
First recorded in 1505-15; recite + -al2
Related forms
recitalist, noun
nonrecital, noun, adjective
prerecital, noun
Synonym Study
7. See narrative. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recital
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Is it possible that in so short a time—if the recital be not too painful, pray explain.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • "Certainly," I replied, deeply sighing at the recital of so lame a story.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • At the conclusion of this recital he called to the Leopard Woman.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The feeling with which I had listened to this recital had become intolerable.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • So my rascals ever did with me, though in good truth I seldom listened to their recital.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Every now and then she gave a recital, and it was always crowded.

  • He recollected that Ingram was implicated in the recital and could not be kept out.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • They were all good things, and he couldn't help seeing that the recital pleased her.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for recital


a musical performance by a soloist or soloists Compare concert (sense 1)
the act of reciting or repeating something learned or prepared
an account, narration, or description
a detailed statement of facts, figures, etc
(often pl) (law) the preliminary statement in a deed showing the reason for its existence and leading up to and explaining the operative part
Derived Forms
recitalist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for recital

1510s, a legal term, "rehearsal or statement of relevant facts," from recite + -al. Meaning "act of reciting" is from 1610s; musical performance sense is from 1811.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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