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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was a reprise of the mantra late in the third quarter when Jackson hit Seth Roberts for a 33-yard touchdown. David Ginsburg, Houston Chronicle, "Jackson, Ravens beat Jets to clinch AFC North title," 12 Dec. 2019 The series, which is currently filming, will see Hilary Duff reprise her role as the titular character. Eric Todisco,, "The Proud Family to Return with New Episodes on Disney+, Says Star Jo Marie Payton," 27 Nov. 2019 In the theme’s reprise, the upper line moves from the first cello to the viola, and the piece sings from the inside out. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, "The Irresistible Beauty of Schubert," 2 Nov. 2019 And Tencent forbids direct video shares from Douyin to WeChat, a reprise of Tencent’s tactics against Qihoo nearly a decade ago. Echo Huang, Quartz, "WeChat is setting a blueprint for the world’s social networks," 29 Oct. 2019 The mayor’s reprise of the song at the end of the first act, meant to justify the dastardly, is anything but funny. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "Review: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s “Bright Star” strikes a chord at Arvada Center," 17 Sep. 2019 Just that tiny little reprise, that part, that was enough. Tim Stack,, "Jessica Lange talks The Politician, Olive Garden, and if she'll ever return to American Horror Story," 28 Sep. 2019 By the following week fears of a reprise of the global crisis were easing, though banks remained eager recipients of Fed liquidity. The Economist, "Repo-market ructions were a reminder of the financial crisis," 26 Sep. 2019 The spinoff prequel series, Better Call Saul, saw national treasure Bob Odenkirk reprise his role as shady lawyer Saul Goodman and has also enjoyed critical acclaim. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "First full trailer for El Camino picks up where Breaking Bad left off," 24 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The actresses are reprising their iconic roles as Downton's kitchen staff in the movie, which centers on the Crawley family's preparations for a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Watch Downton Abbey Stars Sophie McShera and Lesley Nicol Show Us Their Cooking Skills," 20 Sep. 2019 Lopez and Berkley will be reprising their roles A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Mario Lopez shares first look at Saved by the Bell reboot," 11 Jan. 2020 Benedict Cumberbatch is reprising his role as the master of the mystic arts while Jade Bartlett is still a writer on the project. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' Loses Director Scott Derrickson," 9 Jan. 2020 In addition to making his return to the iconic SNL stage, Murphy will be reprising his role as Akeem in the sequel to his classic movie Coming to America alongside his original co-stars Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones. Darlene Aderoju,, "Eddie Murphy Reveals Film Role He Regrets Rejecting: 'Every Time I See It I Feel Like an Idiot'," 21 Dec. 2019 The director is working with the same two leads: Christian Gray played Poe three times with First Folio Theatre; Erica Bittner, a veteran of two productions of this show with First Folio, is reprising the role of Virginia Poe’s ghost. Myrna Petlicki,, "Oak Park Festival Theatre uses Cheney Mansion as setting for ‘The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe’," 16 Oct. 2019 Antetokounmpo, who has started in three straight All-Star Games and was one of the team captains last year, is in line to reprise that role for this year's exhibition, which will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the United Center in Chicago. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Eastern Conference – but trails Luka Doncic – in all-star voting," 2 Jan. 2020 Sony Pictures Television announced Monday that Burnett will reprise her Emmy-winning role as the mother of Helen Hunt’s character. Washington Post, "Carol Burnett returning to ‘Mad About You’ revival," 4 Nov. 2019 Mr Nielsen, who led Argentina’s negotiations with the IMF from 2003 to 2005, may have to reprise that role as Argentina seeks to manage its debts, including its existing $57bn loan from the fund. The Economist, "Argentines give the Peronists another chance," 28 Oct. 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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The first known use of reprise was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

31 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reprise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for reprise


How to pronounce reprise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reprise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something (such as a piece of music) that is repeated


How to pronounce reprise (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reprise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reprise

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