1700, "a fresh promulgation" of a law, etc., from re- + publication, French republication (by 17c.), or else formed to go with republish (v.). By 1789 as "act of republishing, a new publication of something published before;" specifically as "a fresh publication of a literary work" by 1796, originally often especially a reprint in one country of a work published in another. A verb republicate was used 17c. as "make popular" (1660s).