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 Public education supporters fear the bill may open the door to larger changes, including a reprise of tax credit scholarships for private schools and a new funding mechanism to create a path for charter schools to open. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "After last-minute allowance for some private schools, House passes school choice bill," 11 Mar. 2021 The potential for a supply pinch as the first quarter draws to a close late next month could represent a smaller-scale reprise of problems that bedeviled the Trump administration at the end of last year. Washington Post, "Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna pledge massive boost to U.S. supply after sluggish rollout," 23 Feb. 2021 In a move that is sure to rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sources tell Deadline that Chris Evans is cleaning the dust off his Captain America attire as he is expected reprise the role in the MCU in some form. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Marvel boss says Chris Evans isn’t coming back as Captain America," 14 Jan. 2021 Well, congratulations, a reprise may be coming your way if Joe Biden heeds his Covid-19 advisory team. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Joe Biden’s Lockdown Lobby," 12 Nov. 2020 Education opportunity accounts are a reprise of tax credit scholarship legislation that floundered repeatedly in previous sessions. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky GOP quietly adds controversial education opportunity accounts to a different bill," 6 Mar. 2021 Each gets a featured turn before the dance ends with a reprise of the group theme. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet's 'To the Pointe' makes classics friendly for new audiences," 26 Feb. 2021 The underlying economics of the current housing market strongly suggest that a reprise of the Great Recession's housing bust isn't in the cards. Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "Looking for a house? Keep this basic advice in mind," 13 Feb. 2021 The role is a reprise for Warren, who pressed the Obama administration, privately and sometimes quite publicly, on issues from complex financial instruments to forgiving federal student debt for borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools. Globe Staff,, "Massachusetts progressives press Biden to cancel student loan debt," 3 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will supposedly reprise their roles from previous Sony films for No Way Home. Chris Smith, BGR, "Brand new ‘Spider-Man 3’ leak may confirm the craziest spoiler yet," 26 Mar. 2021 At the barbershop, where Murphy and Hall also reprise their characters, the conversation bounces from Teslas to transgender people. NBC News, "33 years later, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall return to Zamunda," 3 Mar. 2021 At the barbershop, where Murphy and Hall also reprise their characters, the conversation bounces from Teslas to transgender people. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "33 years later, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall return to Zamunda," 2 Mar. 2021 WandaVision referenced Fox’s X-Men by having Evan Peters reprise his role as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Huge leak may have finally revealed Marvel’s first X-Men movie," 5 Mar. 2021 Mancini, who was voted Most Valuable Oriole in 2019, didn’t get a chance to reprise that honor in 2020. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles’ Trey Mancini gets standing ovation, singles in first at-bat in return from colon cancer," 28 Feb. 2021 Written by Zahir McGhee, Queens chronicles the reunion of four estranged bandmates who are clinching their opportunity to regain their fame and reprise their legendary 90s hip-hop group, Nasty Bitches. Mia Uzzell, Essence, "Naturi Naughton Tapped To Star in ABC’s ‘Queens’," 25 Feb. 2021 Of course, there’s also still no official word on whether Evan Handler will reprise his role as Charlotte’s husband, Harry. Anne Victoria Clark, Vulture, "Mr. Big May Leave Sex and the City at the Altar for Real," 19 Feb. 2021 Another company that is reviving classic film characters for its Super Bowl ad is Uber Eats, which brought back Mike Myers and Dana Carvey to reprise their Wayne's World characters. Anna Chan, Billboard, "Winona Ryder Is Back With Edward Scissorhands' Son in New Super Bowl Ad: Watch," 7 Feb. 2021

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

20 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reprise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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)

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reprise

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