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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


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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
Pop returns the favor by appearing on a reprise of the song to close the album. Daniel Kohn, SPIN, 23 Nov. 2023 The first line of a classic tune by The Stylistics is an ode to striking sanitation workers, and their reprise is a reminder, much like Bluey, that people make the world go round. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Oct. 2023 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
The following year, Allen reprised his role as Scott for The Santa Clauses. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 23 Nov. 2023 Boise, Austin and Provo all reprised as big winners, each garnering over 10% wage increases that raised their prices around 25% on an annual basis. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 19 Nov. 2023 Fans of the big screen films will be pleased to know Monarch literally begins with a sequence featuring John Goodman’s Randa, with the actor reprising his role from Kong: Skull Island. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Nov. 2023 Also reprising their roles for this season are Dominic West as Prince Charles, Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Salim Daw as Mohamed Fayed, Dodi’s father. Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2023 The film’s entire cast, from Cera to Chris Evans to Aubrey Plaza, even reprises their roles as voice performers. Alison Herman, Variety, 17 Nov. 2023 This month, the 34-year-old actor is reprising his wacky, wild-eyed and highly energetic Grinch performance for the third year in a row. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Nov. 2023 But two combatants stood out: Nigel Farage, then the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, reprising his argument that new entrants to Britain were a dangerous resource drain, and Brand. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2023 McKenna Grace and Logan Kim reprise their roles as Phoebe Spengler and her BFF Podcast. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 8 Nov. 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 5 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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