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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
The song continues to offer up more devastation in its reprise, which brings in Anthony to add his rich timbre to the standard. David John Chávez, The Mercury News, 13 June 2024 There are multiple reprises of songs and themes where whole new tunes or ideas would serve a transition better. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 31 May 2024
In addition to Walker, Hynes and Campbell — who play brothers Luke, Taylor and Stephan Brenner, respectively — Margaret Colin is reprising her role as their mother, Barbara. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 8 June 2024 Snow Carr’s actor-husband Geno Carr is also reprising at Lamb’s his prior turn as Vice Principal Douglas Panch. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 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 23 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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