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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.

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
Recent Examples on the Web
But most also fear a reprise of the first debate between then-President Trump and Biden in 2020, when Trump talked over Biden repeatedly and moderator Chris Wallace could not restore order. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2024 Author, journalist and Baruch College Professor Bridgett M. Davis‘ 1996 feature film is having a welcome reprise in the borough it was set in nearly 30 years ago. Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News, 20 June 2024
Murphy would go on to reprise his role as Axel Foley, a Detroit cop perpetually drawn back to southern California by murder investigations, in all three subsequent films in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, including this summer’s Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. John Russell, Peoplemag, 3 July 2024 Ponzio starred in Teen Wolf for six seasons and recently reprised her role as Melissa McCall Paramount+’s Teen Wolf: The Movie revival. Denise Petski, Deadline, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for reprise 

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 15 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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