re·​prise | \ ri-ˈprēz How to pronounce reprise (audio) , sense 3 is also ri-ˈprīz \

Definition of reprise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 [French, from Middle French]
a : a musical repetition:
(1) : the repetition of the exposition preceding the development
b : a repeated performance : repetition
2 : a recurrence, renewal, or resumption of an action
3 : a deduction or charge made yearly out of a manor or estate usually used in plural


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

Definition of reprise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to repeat the performance of
b : to repeat the principal points or stages of : recapitulate
2 archaic : take back especially : to recover by force
3 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.

Examples of reprise in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What’s exciting here is not necessarily the reprise of Nomi’s moves and her lines but Berkley Lauren’s gameness and willingness to revisit a role that has entered the pantheon of culture for some not-quite-right reasons. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 23 Nov. 2021 There may be a small reprise of good autumn weather in the weeks ahead. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Oct. 2021 This is a reprise from one of the major conclusions of the 2020 Study. Michael Peregrine, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 One song was dropped, a reprise of another substituted. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Dec. 2021 Many websites locked up for hours as people sought to book appointments, a reprise of the early days of the vaccine campaign in Maryland. Meredith Cohn,, 9 Nov. 2021 Still basking in the afterglow as the last bits of cash rolled in, Parkins said WSCR already is poised for a reprise next year with a cause and date still to be determined. Phil Rosenthal,, 24 June 2021 Everyone gets a respite from the game with a relaxing boat day, complete with a reprise of Amanda's Titanic pose — this time from Nelson and Emanuel with an assist from Emy. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 25 Nov. 2021 The second act doesn’t quite have the magic of the first; Beckert’s pacing is more slack and the songs not as strong, winding up with a reprise of what feels like the entire opening number. Matthew J. Palm,, 16 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The most exciting part for fans of the franchise (and/or Scottish dudes in Jedi garb) is that Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan and be reunited with Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader. Jennifer M. Wood, Wired, 31 Dec. 2021 The leak says that Nicholas Cage will also reprise his role as Johnny Blaze. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 Dec. 2021 Ready or Not filmmakers Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin direct the next Scream, for which the three O.G. stars reprise their characters. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 20 Dec. 2021 After the reboot was announced earlier this year, fans were more concerned with the fate of Samantha, after the show confirmed actress Kim Cattrall wouldn’t reprise her role. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 Goldie Hawn stepped out to help reprise Midler’s 50-plus years as a versatile entertainer, as did Scarlett Johansson. Paul Harris, Variety, 6 Dec. 2021 The Chargers loomed as a potential breakout team, if Staley could reprise the 2020 performance or deliver something close to it. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Nov. 2021 According to Deadline, Caplan tried her best but could not make her schedule work to reprise her role as Casey Klein. Alejandra Gularte, Vulture, 17 Nov. 2021 Still, others wanted to see Mark reprise his role as Gibbs again. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 26 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reprise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reprise


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for reprise


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

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

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reprise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for reprise



English Language Learners Definition of reprise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something (such as a piece of music) that is repeated



English Language Learners Definition of reprise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to repeat (something, such as a performance of a piece of music)


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