Is it reiterate or iterate?

Many dictionaries are now listing both of these words. The form ‘reiterate’ is most commonly heard in everyday speech, but crept into the language through what’s known as hypercorrection: correcting something which is already right.

‘Iterate’, on its own, already means ‘to say or perform again/repeat something’. However, many people do not know this, so they add ‘re’ to the word, thinking that this will give the ‘again’ element.

Example:

  • ‘He iterated his point.’ NOT ‘He reiterated his point.’

So, you would use ‘reiterate’ only if you actually were iterating again, for a second/third time!