Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, 18th century
A recurring word or phrase; a refrain.
Examples of Repetend in a sentence
"The song ended in a repetend of the first line of the chorus, which the singers repeated at least 10 times."
"Edgar Allan Poe uses the repetend “Nevermore” several times in the poem “The Raven” to great effect."
Popularity Over Time
The term is derived from the Latin “repetendum,” meaning “something to be repeated.” The Latin root itself is related to “repetere,” from which the English verb “repeat” is derived.
Did you Know?
In poetry, a repetend (or refrain) has the effect of focusing the reader on a recurring motif. Each time a poem returns to its repetend, it provides an increasingly strong reminder of the ideas or images the poet wishes the reader to consider. Repetends often appear at the beginning or end of poetic verses, such as Walt Whitman repeating “O Captain! my Captain!”, or Robert Frost’s repetend of “And miles to go before I sleep.” Positioning a repetend as the first or last part of a verse helps remind readers these repeated motifs are central to the poem.