Origin of repeater

First recorded in 1570–80; repeat + -er1
Related formsnon·re·peat·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for repeater

Historical Examples of repeater

  • Just as she finished there came to her the crack of Dinsmore's repeater.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • When, then, his repeater had told him the hour, Aaron turned and addressed his brother.


    Maurus Jokai

  • He touched the spring of his repeater, to correct this most preposterous clock.

    A Christmas Carol

    Charles Dickens

  • I struck my repeater, and this seemed to astound her greatly.


    Prosper Merimee

  • Then Oliver took out his watch, which was a repeater, and struck it.

    Queen Sheba's Ring

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for repeater



a person or thing that repeats
Also called: repeating firearm a firearm capable of discharging several shots without reloading
a timepiece having a mechanism enabling it to strike the hour or quarter-hour just past, when a spring is pressed
electrical engineering a device that amplifies or augments incoming electrical signals and retransmits them, thus compensating for transmission losses
Also called: substitute nautical one of three signal flags hoisted with others to indicate that one of the top three is to be repeated
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 repeater

1570s, agent noun from repeat (v.). As a type of firearm from 1868; as "a frequent offender" from 1884.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper