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dit·to (dĭtō)
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n. pl. dit·tos
1. The same as stated above or before.
2. A duplicate; a copy.
3. A pair of small marks ( " ) used to indicate that the word, phrase, or figure given above is to be repeated.
adv.
As before.
tr.v. dit·toed, dit·to·ing, dit·tos
To duplicate (a document, for example).

[Italian dialectal, past participle of Italian dire, to say, from Latin dīcere; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Word History: Ditto originally comes from the Latin word dictus, "having been said," the past participle of the verb dīcere, "to say." In Italian dīcere became dire and dictus became detto, or in the Tuscan dialect ditto. Italian detto or ditto meant what said does in legal English, as in "said property." Thus the word could be used in certain constructions to mean "the same as what has been said"; for example, having given the date December 22, one could use 26 detto or ditto for 26 December. The first recorded use of ditto in English occurs in such a construction in 1625.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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