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

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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 and 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


They ended their performance with a reprise of the opening number. The team is hoping to avoid a reprise of last year's defeat.


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

The performance that really brings Briarpatch to life is Ferguson's, showcasing a reprise for his bushy Mad Men beard and enough scenery-chewing energy to occasionally propel the show even in his absence. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Briarpatch': TV Review | TIFF 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 Lang’s futile search for a home for his graybeard reprise nicely mimicked how unsettled hippiedom’s legacy still is. Tom Carson, Los Angeles Times, "Woodstock glorified them. Tarantino barbecued them. In 2019, whither the hippie?," 15 Aug. 2019 Texas Take: Get the latest news on Texas politics sent directly to your inbox every weekday Castro’s allies would be happy for a reprise of his forceful performance in June. Bill Lambrecht,, "Castro needs another surge tonight in 2020 Democratic debates," 31 July 2019 Hailey Dawson, a 9-year-old from Nevada who began her journey to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at all 30 major league ballparks in 2015 at Camden Yards, was back to reprise that role Friday. Jon Meoli,, "Early results aside, Orioles rookie Dillon Tate making a case for himself in big league bullpen," 2 Aug. 2019 The child stars from the first film reprise their roles as the original Losers Club while James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, and James Ransone join the cast. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'It Chapter Two' trailer news stirs excitement," 18 July 2019 While Jones’s Mufasa is more or less a reprise, Ejiofor’s Scar is very different from Irons’s. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Lion King remake isn’t a better movie, but it did a few things better than the original.," 17 July 2019 Last month saw a reprise of the violence as Ituri’s cattle-herding Hema and seed-sowing Lendu ethnic groups again turned on each other. The Economist, "Killings in Congo’s north-east spark fears of a return to war," 13 July 2019 One standout of the most recent Symphony Hall season was Nelsons helming Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and Friday night’s concert showed the conductor was fully capable of a reprise. Zoë Madonna,, "Boston Symphony Orchestra begins Tanglewood season in style," 7 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This Week In Heat Vision breakdown Jeremy Renner is due to reprise his titular role as the bow-and-arrow wielding Avengers superhero. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Marvel's 'Hawkeye' Series Finds Its Writer With 'Mad Men' Scribe (Exclusive)," 6 Sep. 2019 Next summer, Murphy will also return to the big screen to reprise his role as Prince Akeem in a sequel to Coming to America. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Eddie Murphy Reveals Plans to Tour in 2020," 5 Sep. 2019 In a recent interview with the New York Times, the Terminator actress, 62, opened up about her hiatus from acting and what led her to reprise her role as Sarah Connor in the next installment of the Terminator series, Terminator: Dark Fate. Georgia Slater,, "Linda Hamilton Reveals She's Been Celibate for 'At Least 15 Years': 'It Doesn't Matter to Me'," 3 Sep. 2019 Andrew Heaney — who, depending on Ohtani’s health, is perhaps the most likely pitcher to reprise a role in the Angels’ 2020 rotation — is another work-in-progress. Jack Harriswriter, Los Angeles Times, "Andrew Heaney can’t tame Boston’s heavy hitters in Angels’ loss," 1 Sep. 2019 Martin led the Raiders last season in rushes (172), rushing yards (723) and rushing touchdowns (four), but was unlikely to reprise that role after the Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs at 24th overall in April. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders place Doug Martin on IR, release Andrew DePaola," 25 Aug. 2019 She's been dropping hints about the reboot since late 2018 and she's officially signed on to reprise her role as Lizzie in the reboot. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Disney's 'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot — Premiere Date, Casting, Plot Details, and More," 24 Aug. 2019 Tori agreed to reprise her role as Donna in two episodes of the show's first season. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "'BH90210' Star Tori Spelling Has Worked Extremely Hard to Secure Her Finances," 21 Aug. 2019 Hopefully, McGregor still wants to reprise one of his most iconic roles. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Ewan McGregor Deserves Another Shot at Star Wars," 16 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for reprise

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for reprise

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

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reprise

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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