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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the early-voting data is far from decisive for Democrats, who fear a reprise of 2016, when early-voting totals seemed to all but ensure victory for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Early Voting Surges as Midterms Approach," 2 Nov. 2018 And could Kingpin be making a reprise as Matt's arch nemesis? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Matt Murdock is back and darker than ever in new trailer for Daredevil season 3," 21 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That includes last night's big Deadpool 2 premiere, where Lively showed her support for her husband, who's reprising his starring role as the smart-ass superhero, by wearing his face on her nails. Samantha Sasso,, "The Unique Way Blake Lively Supported Ryan Reynolds For Deadpool 2," 15 May 2018 On last night’s opening of Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin reprised his role as Donald Trump—wig, pout, and all—in a skit that mocked the president’s meeting with Kanye West in the Oval Office earlier this week. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This Is How SNL Handled That Trump and Kanye Oval Office Meeting," 14 Oct. 2018 Liz Anya and her assistant from That's So Raven This is super topical, since Raven-Symoné and Anneliese van der Pol recently reprised their ~iconic~ roles on the Season 1 finale of Raven's Home. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "36 Halloween Disney Costumes You And Your BFFs Can Pull Off," 16 Aug. 2018 Focus Features announced today that the original cast, including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, and the guy who played Bates (ugh), will reprise their roles for the movie, which begins filming this summer. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "A 'Downton Abbey' Movie Is Coming," 13 July 2018 Production is underway on Wonder Woman 1984, which stars Gal Gadot as the hero and also has Chris Pine reprising his role as love interest/war spy Steve Trevor. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Wonder Woman 1984' Director Shares First Look at Kristen Wiig's Villain," 27 June 2018 Brad Bird returned to direct the animated sequel, while Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Samuel L. Jackson and John Ratzenberger reprise their voice roles. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Weekend Box Office: 'Incredibles 2' Flying to Record $175M-Plus Launch," 16 June 2018 The Paynes: Cassi Davis and Lavan Davis reprise their roles as Ella and Curtis Payne in this Tyler Perry-helmed House of Payne spinoff. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "12 Movies and TV Shows You Absolutely Must Watch This Week," 14 Jan. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reprise

Listen to Our Podcast about reprise

Dictionary Entries near reprise








Statistics for reprise

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reprise

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

More from Merriam-Webster on reprise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reprise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reprise

Comments on reprise

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!