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re·​prise ri-ˈprēz How to pronounce reprise (audio)
 sense 3 is also  ri-ˈprīz
[French, from Middle French]
: a musical repetition:
: the repetition of the exposition preceding the development
: a repeated performance : repetition
: a recurrence, renewal, or resumption of an action
: a deduction or charge made yearly out of a manor or estate
usually used in plural


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re·​prise ri-ˈprīz How to pronounce reprise (audio)
 sense 1 is  ri-ˈprēz
reprised; reprising

transitive verb

: to repeat the performance of
: to repeat the principal points or stages of : recapitulate
archaic : take back
especially : to recover by force
archaic : compensate

Did you know?

When reprise was first adopted into English in the 15th century, it referred to a deduction or charge made yearly out of a manor or estate (and was usually used in the plural form reprises). It probably won't surprise you, then, to learn that reprise comes from an Anglo-French word meaning "seizure, repossession, or expense." Eventually, reprise came to refer to any action that was repeated or resumed. A later sense, borrowed from modern French, applies to specific types of repetition in musical compositions. That sense was eventually generalized to describe any subsequent and identical performance. It's possible, for example, to have a reprise of a television program or a book.

Example Sentences

Noun They ended their performance with a reprise of the opening number. The team is hoping to avoid a reprise of last year's defeat. Verb He will reprise his role in the play. the prosecutor's closing statement effectively reprised the case against the defendant
Recent Examples on the Web
This season’s New Year’s Day game, won 8-4 by Harvard, was a startler and few were betting on a reprise now that Husky goaltender Devon Levi was back on his game. John Powers,, 13 Feb. 2023 In a reprise of 2020 pre-election tactics, activist groups promoting the baseless notion of widespread voter fraud are trying to invalidate tens of thousands of voter registrations, mostly in Democratic areas. Michael Wines, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2022 This is not about pining for a reprise of the U.S-Soviet Cold War. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 July 2022 The two reprise their roles as Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, respectively, reuniting with Goldblum's Ian Malcolm once again. Jessica Wang,, 12 June 2022 Hanks returned for a reprise of his classic David S. Pumpkins character, with Harlow along for the ride. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, 30 Oct. 2022 The story lines involve redemption, last chances for icons, the customary enchanting outlier, and the champion’s bid for a rare reprise. John Powers,, 7 Dec. 2022 Democrats set a new low with their Ukrainian impeachment circus, and a GOP House next year might be up for a reprise. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 11 Aug. 2022 Sure, there are still plenty of (fantastic) indie games to demo, including Inkle’s latest project Pendragon, raccoon noir mystery Backbone, a SkateBIRD reprise, Stronghold: Warlords, and a few of my favorite trailers this week like Roki, Haven, and Ghostrunner. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, 16 June 2020
She's even made her way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Iman Vellani playing the title character in last year's Ms. Marvel series and reprising the role on the big screen in The Marvels later this year. Christian Holub,, 16 May 2023 Tennant and Tate have reprised their roles for a series of three specials to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, which will also make Tenant the 14th Doctor. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 13 May 2023 Who else stars in Beetlejuice 2? Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder reprise their roles as Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz, respectively, as confirmed by Variety. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 11 May 2023 Blenheim Palace became Buckingham House (the precursor to Buckingham Palace), where Queen Charlotte and King George live; Belton House became Kew Palace, George's reclusive hideaway; and Hampton Court reprised its role as St. James Palace. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 10 May 2023 The fourth Bad Boys film sees Smith and Lawrence reprising their roles as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, respectively, and also stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez and Eric Dane. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Apr. 2023 Previously, Disney revealed that Bruno Campos would return as Prince Naveen, Michael-Leon Wooley would reprise the role of Louis and Anika Noni Rose would be back to voice Princess Tiana. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2023 Daisy Ridley will reprise her role as Rey in one of three new live-action Star Wars movies announced at the franchise’s big event in London Friday, April 7. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2023 This summer Kirby reprises her role as the White Widow, a slinky arms broker, in Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 4 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reprise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French, seizure, repossession, expense, from feminine past participle of reprendre to take back, from re- + prendre to take, from Latin prehendere


Middle English, from Middle French repris, past participle of reprendre

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of reprise was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near reprise

Cite this Entry

“Reprise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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