1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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 Tonight’s the Night portion of the evening ended with an extended reprise of the title track, and Young back at the piano. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2023 The second-act reprise of the number is brief and remains lyrically vague. Theater Review Aug. 3, Vulture, 3 Aug. 2023 The men picked up a pair of medals last time and should be good for at least a reprise. John Powers,, 26 July 2023 Netflix brought back the series for a four-episode limited run, titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which saw the cast reprise their roles, including Gunn. Kelly Martinez, Peoplemag, 15 July 2023 The one-minute reprise of sorts wasn’t included on The Barbie Album and was otherwise unavailable before hitting streaming services Saturday. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 29 July 2023 And the French, despite a couple of wobbly outings, are up against Morocco in a reprise of last year’s enchanting men’s semifinal. John Powers,, 5 Aug. 2023 Her debut album, Samson, is reflective, unguarded, and triumphant, a hip-hop hero’s journey complete with an intro from Lin-Manuel Miranda (a huge look for Chika as a former theater kid) and a series of emotional reprises. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 27 July 2023 The Off Broadway version of Here Lies Love, which had two runs at the Public Theater from 2013 to 2015, ended with a grand, straightforward reprise of that Imelda solo. Vulture, 20 July 2023
Jasmine Cephas Jones reprised her role from the film, starring in the series as Ashley. Joe Otterson, Variety, 25 Sep. 2023 Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture reprise their roles from past movies, and the newcomers include 50 Cent, Megan Fox, and Tony Jaa. James Grebey, Vulture, 22 Sep. 2023 Numerous original cast members reprised their roles, and new actors also came in to play the roles of D.J. and Kimmy (Barber)'s kids as well as D.J., Stephanie (Sweetin) and Kimmy's love interests. Kelly Martinez, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2023 The lawsuit reprises an earlier one that ended with a 2015 agreement by the VA to build 1,200 units of housing on the campus with a commitment to complete more than 770 by the end of 2022. Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 In addition to directing, Branagh reprises his role as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot opposite Camille Cottin, Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, Kyle Allen and Riccardo Scamarcio. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Sep. 2023 John Mahoney, who played Martin, died in 2018, while David Hyde Pierce opted out of reprising his role as Niles in the reboot. Issy Ronald, CNN, 15 Sep. 2023 With four matches left, the Wave have a good shot at obtaining one of the six playoff spots and a fair chance to land the third or fourth seed that would ensure a home match in the quarterfinals, reprising last year’s seeding. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 Nicki Minaj is set to reprise her dual role from last year as emcee and performer for 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Paul Grein, Billboard, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

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 28 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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