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early 15c., "act of driving back," from Middle French répercussion (14c.) or directly from Latin repercusionem (nominative repercussio), from past participle stem of repercutere "to strike or beat back; shine back, reflect; echo," from re- "back" (see re-) + percutere "to strike or thrust through" (see percussion). Meaning "reverberation, echo" first recorded 1590s; the metaphoric extension is recorded from 1620s.