[uh-gen, uh-geyn]
See more synonyms for again on
  1. once more; another time; anew; in addition: Will you spell your name again, please?
  2. in an additional case or instance; moreover; besides; furthermore.
  3. on the other hand: It might happen, and again it might not.
  4. back; in return; in reply: to answer again.
  5. to the same place or person: to return again.
  1. again and again, with frequent repetition; often: They went over the same arguments again and again.
  2. as much again, twice as much: She earns as much again as I do.

Origin of again

before 900; Middle English agayn, ageyn, Old English ongegn opposite (to), equivalent to on on, in (see a-1) + gegn straight; cognate with Old High German ingagan, Old Norse igegn

Pronunciation note

By far the most common pronunciation of again, in all parts of the United States, is [uh-gen] /əˈgɛn/, with the same vowel heard in yet and pep. The pronunciation [uh-geyn] /əˈgeɪn/, rhyming with pain, occurs chiefly in the Atlantic states. Again said as [uh-gin] /əˈgɪn/, with the vowel of pit or sip, or with a vowel somewhere between [e] /ɛ/ and [i] /ɪ/, is the common pronunciation in much of the South, where [e] /ɛ/ and [i] /ɪ/ tend to become neutralized, or more like one another, before [m] /m/ and [n] /n/, leading to a lack of noticeable distinction between such pairs as pen and pin, ten and tin. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for again and again

regularly, repeatedly, frequently, continuously

British Dictionary definitions for again and again


  1. another or second time; once more; anewhe had to start again
  2. once more in a previously experienced or encountered place, state, or conditionhe is ill again; he came back again
  3. in addition to the original amount, quantity, etc (esp in the phrases as much again; half as much again)
  4. (sentence modifier) on the other handhe might come and then again he might not
  5. besides; alsoshe is beautiful and, again, intelligent
  6. archaic in reply; backhe answered again to the questioning voice
  7. again and again continuously; repeatedly
  8. (used with a negative) Caribbean any more; any longerI don't eat pumpkin again
sentence connector
  1. moreover; furthermoreagain, it could be said that he is not dead

Word Origin for again

Old English ongegn opposite to, from a- ² + gegn straight
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

Word Origin and History for again and again



late Old English agan, from earlier ongean "toward, opposite, against, in exchange for," from on "on" (see on) + -gegn "against, toward," compounded for a sense of "lined up facing, opposite," and "in the opposite direction, returning." For -gegn, cf. Old Norse gegn "straight, direct;" Danish igen "against;" Old Frisian jen, Old High German gegin, German gegen "against, toward," entgegen "against, in opposition to."

In Old English, eft was the main word for "again" (see eftsoons), but this often was strengthened by ongean, which became the principal word by 13c. Norse influence is responsible for the hard -g-. Differentiated from against 16c. in southern writers, again becoming an adverb only, and against taking over as preposition and conjunction, but again clung to all senses in northern and Scottish dialect (where against was not adopted).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with again and again

again and again

Repeatedly, often, as in I've told you again and again, don't turn up the heat. This idiom uses repetition for the purpose of emphasis (as does its synonym, over and over). Shakespeare used it in Othello (1:3): “I have told thee often, and I retell thee again and again.” [c. 1600]


In addition to the idiom beginning with again

  • again and again

also see:

  • come again
  • do something over again
  • ever and again
  • every now and again
  • here someone goes again
  • now and again
  • off and on (off again, on again)
  • over again
  • something else again
  • time and time again
  • you can say that again
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.