c. 1200, "to repeat, reiterate, recite; rehearse, get by heart," from Old French recorder "tell, relate, repeat, recite, report, make known" (12c.) and directly from Latin recordari "remember, call to mind, think over, be mindful of," from re- "restore" (see re-) + cor (genitive cordis) "heart" (as the metaphoric seat of memory, as in learn by heart), from PIE root *kerd- "heart." Meaning "set down in writing" first attested mid-14c.; that of "put sound or pictures on disks, tape, etc." is from 1892. Related: Recorded; recording.
c. 1300, "testimony committed to writing," from Old French record "memory, statement, report," from recorder "to record" (see record (v.)). Meaning "written account of some event" is from late 14c. Meaning "disk on which sounds or images have been recorded" is first attested 1878. That of "best or highest recorded achievement in sports, etc." is from 1883. Phrase on the record is from 1900; adverbial phrase off the record "confidentially" is attested from 1906. Record-player attested from 1919.