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

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: Noun Text passages reemerge as a chorus with visual reprise. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 This will not be a reprise of George Meany’s AFL-CIO, and may only be limited as — despite the media coverage — the rate of private-sector unionization is at its lowest ebb in recent history. Joel Kotkin, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 The mood seemed dour post-reveal, with Jeong outright glowering and crossing his arms, and eventually walking off during Giuliani’s reprise performance. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 20 Apr. 2022 Inevitably, this reprise at the Goodman Theatre does not pack the same kind of punch. Chris Jones,, 23 Feb. 2022 Some on the left see a reprise of labor militancy, which includes sporadic, occasionally successful, organizing efforts among tech workers, college adjuncts, Amazon warehouse workers, and Starbucks baristas. Joel Kotkin, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 Chastain’s idea to have Tammy Faye’s daughter, Tammy Sue Baker, sing a reprise. Chris Willman, Variety, 7 Jan. 2022 This is a reprise of the same study buddy premise from the Carey Mulligan episode. Andy Hoglund,, 13 Mar. 2022 What’s exciting here is not necessarily the reprise of Nomi’s moves and her lines but Berkley Lauren’s gameness and willingness to revisit a role that has entered the pantheon of culture for some not-quite-right reasons. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jackson is set to reprise his role in the show as former S.H.I.E.L.D. boss Nick Fury, joined by Ben Mendelsohn's Skrull Talos and Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill, as well as newcomers Kingsley Ben-Adir, Olivia Colman, and Emilia Clarke. Devan Coggan,, 17 May 2022 Ed O’Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate, and David Faustino are all set to reprise their roles as the Bundy family in the show, which is not currently set up at a network or streaming service. Joe Otterson, Variety, 13 May 2022 Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are set to reprise their roles, with director Paul Feig returning to the director’s chair. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2022 In the new series, Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp are set to reprise their roles as Red and Kitty Forman. Natalie Lin, Vulture, 8 Oct. 2021 Viola Davis, who played Amanda Waller in the film (and its definite article-less predecessor), is in talks to reprise her role for a series project in the works at HBO Max. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 May 2022 Jennifer Grey will reprise her role as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman. Mark Heim |, al, 29 Apr. 2022 Our beloved on-screen queen actress Golda will reprise her role as the older Queen Charlotte, flanked by fellow Bridgerton regulars Lady Danbury and Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell). Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 16 Apr. 2022 In the fall of 2018, Yeoh was reportedly in talks to reprise the role of Georgiou in a spin-off show, later revealed to be titled Star Trek: Section 31. Clark Collis,, 24 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reprise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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