re·​prise | \ri-ˈprēz, sense 1 is also ri-ˈprīz\

Definition of reprise 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a deduction or charge made yearly out of a manor or estate usually used in plural

2 : a recurrence, renewal, or resumption of an action

3 [ French, from Middle French ]

a : a musical repetition:

(1) : the repetition of the exposition preceding the development

(2) : recapitulation sense 3

b : a repeated performance : repetition


re·​prise | \ri-ˈprīz, sense 3 is ri-ˈprēz\
reprised; reprising

Definition of reprise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : take back especially : to recover by force

2 archaic : compensate

3a : to repeat the performance of

b : to repeat the principal points or stages of : recapitulate

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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

Wooster Group veterans, including Valk, Ari Fliakos, Jim Fletcher and Suzzy Roche, reprise in ghostly fashion the performances of Kantor's flexibly precise actors. Charles Mcnulty,, "With 'A Pink Chair,' Wooster Group conjures from spirits from theater's past," 7 Apr. 2018 That excursion brought the Philharmonic to the Ravinia Festival, which on Thursday night launched its symphonic celebration of this year’s Bernstein centennial with a reprise of that historic program with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 Kwon Sang-woo and Sung Dong-il reprise their roles as Dae-man and Tae-su, skilled criminal investigators with clashing personalities. Noel Murray,, "Korean comedy 'The Accidental Detective 2: In Action' is a smooth, if unmemorable, ride," 20 June 2018 In the coming weeks, audiences will get a chance to see Goldblum reprise his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm in the latest installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "Jeff Goldblum Signs With Universal's Decca Records," 29 May 2018 While his character in The Handmaid’s Tale is no reprise of Get Out’s Dean Armitage, the two men convey similar moods., "Meet Commander Lawrence, The Most Destabilizing Presence On The Handmaid's Tale," 10 July 2018 Lyrically, West has set the bar low enough that certain omissions -- like a reprise of his longstanding, distasteful feud with Taylor Swift or a restating of his belief in Bill Cosby’s innocence -- provide relief. Eric Renner Brown, Billboard, "Kanye West's 'Ye' Is a Missed Opportunity for Redemption," 4 June 2018 The Trojans reprise Oregon's winning formula from the 2017 NCAA Championships. Ken Goe,, "Some big names in action today in the Portland Track Festival: Oregon track & field rundown," 10 June 2018 There’s a new legal challenge raising the possibility — albeit a slight one — that the Supreme Court could hear a reprise of the first major Affordable Care Act lawsuit from six years ago. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Three reasons Obamacare might not get another big SCOTUS moment," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And most recently, Davidson reprised his character for a sketch opposite Jessica Chastain, who played a doctor falling in love with Chad. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Watch Ariana Grande's Fiancé Pete Davidson's Funniest Saturday Night Live Sketches," 11 June 2018 Skyler Samuels and Sharon Gless also reprise their guest roles, and Emma Dumont, Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale and Jamie Chung star. Ed Stockly,, "Monday's TV highlights: 'Independent Lens: I Am Not Your Negro' on PBS," 14 Jan. 2018 This year, Long Grove Confectionery opened its new building, featuring a cafe and reprising an old favorite called the Apple House. Robert Mccoppin,, "Village seeks to save 112-year-old bridge after truck severely damaged structure: 'This is the face of Long Grove'," 29 June 2018 Trump got to that too, reprising his complaint that Jeff Sessions should never have recused himself from the Russia probe and criticizing the attorney general's deputy, Rod Rosenstein, the man who appointed Mueller. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "The FBI raid: A dramatic stunt matched by angry presidential rhetoric," 11 Apr. 2018 Josh Brolin returns as federal agent Matt Graver, who calls on assassin for hire Alejandro Gillick, a role reprised by Benicio del Toro, whose family was murdered by a local drug lord. Fortune, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Continues Stomping on Its Box Office Competition," 1 July 2018 One person in particular is Mark Hamill, who reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for the film. Lauren Chval, RedEye Chicago, "5 buzzworthy topics people will be talking about," 5 Jan. 2018 Harry’s royal nephew and niece will reprise their roles from their aunt Pippa Middleton’s wedding last May. Several of Harry and Meghan’s godchildren and children of their friends will also serve in the bridal party. Simon Perry,, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Announced All 10 Members of Their Adorable Bridal Party!," 16 May 2018 Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish are reprising their roles of Alison and Mona for the show, which means the same campy, shady goodness that made Rosewood so intriguing is coming to Beacon Heights. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The 'Pretty Little Liars' Spin-Off Is All Over Instagram, and I Can't Wait," 28 Mar. 2018

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 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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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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What made you want to look up reprise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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