Wednesday Word for November 13, 2019

Today’s words come from a reader. She asked that I define iterate and reiterate

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Today’s Word

(C) 2019 JJ Shaun
iterate, reiterate

Part of Speech

transitive verb


  1. To say or do again or again and again.
  2. To utter again or repeatedly.
  3. To state or do over again or repeatedly sometimes with wearying effect (reiterate).


First used between 1525 and 1535, the root of the word is from the Latin iterātus, a past participle of iterāre to repeat, which corresponds to iter- (the root word iterum, meaning again) and -ātus (the suffix -ate, meaning separate).

Iterate is the less frequent use of reiterate. The word reiterate was first used in the fifteenth century, and iterate appeared around 1533. Both words have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.

The most common use of iterate is iteration, used in mathematics and computer programming. Iteration is used to repeat a process to reach an outcome.

In Mathematics, iteration repeats functions, using the outcome of the previous step as the input to the next, until the program runs a specified number of iterations. It can also be used to iterate methods to find approximate solutions; for example, manually calculating the square root of a number.

In computer programming, iteration is used to repeat blocks of code a specified number of times. It is related to recursion, which repeats until the program finds a solution.

Usage and Examples

Here are a few examples:

  1. “Don’t forget,” iterated the teacher, “assignments are due at the beginning of class.”
  2. Iterate Step 3 through Step 7 to achieve the desired results.
  3. The HR representative iterated the company’s parking policy.


reiterate, repeat, rehearse

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