from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A word, sound, or phrase that is repeated; a refrain.
- n. Mathematics The digit or group of digits that repeats infinitely in a repeating decimal.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A refrain (having repeated words, sounds or phrases)
- n. A repeating decimal
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. That part of a circulating decimal which recurs continually, ad infinitum: -- sometimes indicated by a dot over the first and last figures; thus, in the circulating decimal .728328328 + (otherwise .7�8�), the repetend is 283.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In arithmetic, that part of a repeating decimal which recurs continually; the circulate.
- n. Something which is or has to be repeated, as the burden of a song.
He has easily recognizable devices: the dominant note, the refrain, the "repetend," that is to say the phrase which echoes, with some variation, a phrase or line already used.
True, America is free; but in order to establish tradition some one must be a repetend--a repeating decimal.
A musical or mnemonic device akin to the refrain was that sing-song species of repetend so familiar in ballad language:
"Sister Helen" is a ballad in dialogue with a subtly varying repetend, and introduces the popular belief that a witch could kill a man slowly by melting a wax figure.
Artifice and ballad preciosity have been cultivated more sedulously in the south, with a learned use of the repetend, archaism of style, and imitation of the quaint mediaeval habit of mind.
America is free; but in order to establish tradition some one must be a repetend -- a repeating decimal.