again and again

again

[uh-gen, uh-geyn]
adverb
1.
once more; another time; anew; in addition: Will you spell your name again, please?
2.
in an additional case or instance; moreover; besides; furthermore.
3.
on the other hand: It might happen, and again it might not.
4.
back; in return; in reply: to answer again.
5.
to the same place or person: to return again.
Idioms
6.
again and again, with frequent repetition; often: They went over the same arguments again and again.
7.
as much again, twice as much: She earns as much again as I do.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English agayn, ageyn, Old English ongegn opposite (to) = on on, in (see a-1) + gegn straight; cognate with Old High German ingagan, Old Norse igegn


By far the most common pronunciation of again, in all parts of the United States, is [uh-gen] with the same vowel heard in yet and pep. The pronunciation [uh-geyn] rhyming with pain, occurs chiefly in the Atlantic states. Again said as [uh-gin] with the vowel of pit or sip, or with a vowel somewhere between [e] and [i] is the common pronunciation in much of the South, where [e] and [i] tend to become neutralized, or more like one another, before [m] and [n] leading to a lack of noticeable distinction between such pairs as pen and pin, ten and tin.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
again (əˈɡɛn, əˈɡeɪn)
 
adv
1.  another or second time; once more; anew: he had to start again
2.  once more in a previously experienced or encountered place, state, or condition: he is ill again; he came back again
3.  in addition to the original amount, quantity, etc (esp in the phrases as much again; half as much again)
4.  (sentence modifier) on the other hand: he might come and then again he might not
5.  besides; also: she is beautiful and, again, intelligent
6.  archaic in reply; back: he answered again to the questioning voice
7.  again and again continuously; repeatedly
8.  (Caribbean) (used with a negative) any more; any longer: I don't eat pumpkin again
 
sentence connector
9.  moreover; furthermore: again, it could be said that he is not dead
 
[Old English ongegn opposite to, from a-² + gegn straight]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

again
O.E. ongean "toward, opposite, against," from on "on" + -gegn "against, toward," for a sense of "lined up facing, opposite," and "in the opposite direction, returning." For -gegn, cf. O.N. gegn "straight, direct," Dan. igen "against," O.Fris. jen, O.H.G. gegin, Ger. gegen "against, toward," Ger. entgegen
"against, in opposition to." In O.E., eft was the main word for "again," but this often was strengthened by ongean, which became the principal word by 13c. Norse influence is responsible for the hard -g-. Differentiated from against 16c. in southern writers, again becoming an adverb only, and against took over as prep. and conjunction, but again clung to all senses in northern and Scottish dialect.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

again and again

Repeatedly, often, as in I've told you again and again, don't turn up the heat. This idiom uses repetition for the purpose of emphasis (as does its synonym, over and over). Shakespeare used it in Othello (1:3): "I have told thee often, and I retell thee again and again." [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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