One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tutor or university official appointed to preside over recitations of lessons read by students (especially in continental Europe); specifically a tutor providing private tuition in law or medicine at a German university.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Anthony Copley (b. 1567), writer and conspirator. From post-classical Latin repetitor tutor, earlier in sense ‘person who repeats or recapitulates (a discourse)’ (636 in Isidore), already in classical Latin in sense ‘person who claims back’ from repetit-, past participial stem of repetere + -or. In specific use after German Repetitor. Compare French répétiteur, Catalan repetidor, Spanish repetidor, Portuguese repetidor, Italian ripetitore.
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