re·​prise | \ ri-ˈprēz How to pronounce reprise (audio) , 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
b : a repeated performance : repetition


re·​prise | \ ri-ˈprīz How to pronounce reprise (audio) , 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

Last month saw a reprise of the violence as Ituri’s cattle-herding Hema and seed-sowing Lendu ethnic groups again turned on each other. The Economist, "Killings in Congo’s north-east spark fears of a return to war," 13 July 2019 One standout of the most recent Symphony Hall season was Nelsons helming Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, and Friday night’s concert showed the conductor was fully capable of a reprise. Zoë Madonna,, "Boston Symphony Orchestra begins Tanglewood season in style," 7 July 2019 Delany once brought along a female friend curious to gawk (a reprise of Brown). Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 2019 Three of the 14 contests are rematches from last season (though not necessarily from the Challenge), not to mention a reprise of the 2013 national title game between Michigan and Louisville. Mitchell Gladstone,, "Revenge a Key Theme as 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups Set," 6 June 2019 There will be no reprise of the 2000, when Tiger had his most Tiger tournament ever. Daniel Rapaport,, "There Won't Be Any Magic for Tiger Woods This Year at Pebble Beach," 15 June 2019 We should be worried about a dangerous, potentially crisis-inducing reprise in 2020. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Republican Party versus democracy," 17 Dec. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Actor Angus Macfadyen not only reprises his role as King Robert, but helped pen the script. Michael Dumas,, "From Mobile to Montana to Scotland: For new epic movie, artists recapture a lost world," 22 June 2019 There’s an undeniable sense of satisfaction to be gained from seeing these familiar roles reprised by familiar faces, and more often than not, the end result beats remakes. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Men in Black' and the Battle Between Nostalgia and Fatigue," 15 June 2019 De Shields’ role was later reprised by Richard Pryor in the 1978 film and Queen Latifah in the live NBC TV special in 2015. Makeda Easter,, "Five things to know about first-time Tony Award winner André De Shields of Baltimore," 10 June 2019 De Shields’ role was later reprised by Richard Pryor in the 1978 film and Queen Latifah in the live NBC TV special in 2015. Makeda Easter,, "André De Shields just won his first Tony at 73. Here are 5 facts on his epic career," 9 June 2019 Portrayed by Matt Davis throughout both TVD and The Originals, the character is reprised by Matt in Legacies. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "New "Vampire Diaries" Spinoff "Legacies" Is Connected to "Legally Blonde"," 26 Oct. 2018 The Broadway revival cast — including Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells — is set to reprise their roles for the film. Rebecca Rubin,, "Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to star in Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Prom’ at Netflix," 25 June 2019 The closure was so well received last year that the San Diego Convention Center Corp., Port of San Diego and Comic-Con agreed to reprise the temporary shutdown, officials said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Heading downtown for Comic-Con next month? Harbor Drive will be closed — to cars and scooters," 24 June 2019 Jill Wagner and Kristoffer Polaha are reprising their roles as Professor Amy and Detective Travis in Mystery 101: Playing Dead. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Armchair Sleuths, Grab the Remote: Hallmark's Mystery 101 is Back," 21 June 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 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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Statistics for reprise

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for reprise

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

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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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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