[res-i-tey-shuh n]


an act of reciting.
a reciting or repeating of something from memory, especially formally or publicly.
oral response by a pupil or pupils to a teacher on a prepared lesson.
a period of classroom instruction.
an elocutionary delivery of a piece of poetry or prose, without the text, before an audience.
a piece so delivered or for such delivery.

Origin of recitation

1475–85; < Latin recitātiōn- (stem of recitātiō), equivalent to recitāt(us) (past participle of recitāre to recite) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·rec·i·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recitation

Contemporary Examples of recitation

Historical Examples of recitation

  • She overslept and missed her first recitation yesterday morning.

  • She had no word ready when called on for a recitation herself.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • We sit patiently through a recitation in English literature.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • The recitation, in truth, becomes the simple game of "hot and cold."

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • The first class in Geography is so large that we have not room in the recitation seats.

    The Teacher

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for recitation



the act of reciting from memory, or a formal reading of verse before an audience
something recited
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 recitation

late 15c., "act of detailing," from Old French récitation (14c.) and directly from Latin recitationem (nominative recitatio) "public reading, a reading aloud," noun of action from past participle stem of recitare (see recite). Meaning "act of repeating aloud" is from 1620s; that of "repetition of a prepared lesson" is first recorded 1770, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper