The Meaning of Reprise: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of reprise? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word reprise, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word reprise mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word reprise can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun, the word reprise refers to a repetition of a phrase or earlier theme in a musical work, or a deduction and payment such as an annuity out of someone’s income from lands. This is often used to refer to repeat signs or a repeated section in an earlier theme of a composition, such as a recapitulation of sonata form.  In masonry, the word reprise means a return of a molding in an internal angle. In maritime law, a reprise is a ship that has been recaptured from an enemy or a pirate. One can add the suffixes ing and ed to the end of reprise to form different tenses of the word like the past participle, past tense, and present participle. Reprise is two syllables – re-prise, and the pronunciation of reprise is rɪˈpriːz.

Many different languages also contain words that mean reprise. You may find that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. This is likely because they are of a similar origin. Usually, cognates are formed when two words have a common ancestor such as Latin or Greek. Cognates are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages. This list of translations of reprise is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Czech: opakování‎ (neut.)
  •  Hungarian: (from a transitive verb) ismétlés‎, (from an intransitive verb) ismétlődés‎
  •  Korean: 되풀이‎
  •  Romanian: repetare‎ (fem.), repetiție‎ (fem.)
  •  Belarusian: паўтарэ́нне‎ (neut.)
  •  Persian: تکرار‎ (takrâr)
  •  Slovene: ponavljanje‎ (neut.) (act), ponovitev‎ (fem.) (instance)
  •  Arabic: تَكْرَار‎ (masc.), إِعَادَة‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: повторе́ние‎ (neut.)
  •  French: répétition‎ (fem.)
  •  Tagalog: again‎
  •  Catalan: repetició‎ (fem.)
  •  Japanese: 繰り返し‎ (くりかえし, kurikaeshi)
  •  Portuguese: repetição‎ (fem.)
  •  Ido: itero‎
  •  Hebrew: חזרה‎
  •  German: Wiederholung‎ (fem.), Repetition‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: repetición‎ (fem.)
  •  Mandarin: 重複‎, 重复‎ (chóngfù)
  •  Greek: επανάληψη‎ (fem.)
  •  Georgian: გამეორება‎
  •  Swedish: repetition‎ (common)
  •  Finnish: kertaus‎, toisto‎
  •  Dutch: herhaling‎ (fem.)
  •  Norman: répétition‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: ripetizione‎ (fem.)

What is the origin of the word reprise?

According to Etymonline, the word reprise has been used to mean a yearly deduction of charges from an estate or manor since the late 14c Middle English, which comes from the 13c Middle French and Old French repris/Old French reprise. This is the feminine of repris, and the feminine past participle of reprendre, meaning to take back, from the Latin reprendre, Latin reprendere, and Latin reprehendere meaning to pull back or hold back. This gives us the related word reprehend. The word reprise has been used since the 1680s to mean a resumption of an action, and in a musical sense since 1879. Reprise has been used as a verb since early 15c and to mean to repeat a theatrical performance since the 18th century.

How can the word reprise be used in a sentence?

The word reprise can be used in many different sentences in natural sounding English. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition. You can also try to make flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of definitions. Learning new words is a great way to make yourself sound smarter and to improve your vocabulary. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Below are several examples of reprise.

After a brief reprieve, the guard position reprised a renewal of a failed attack and took down the enemy lines. This time, they would not smell defeat.

In the second act, there was a reprise of the opening number with an elaborate dance number. The original theme’s tune was kept intact but with different lyrics to the verse.

It was announced that Keanu Reeves would reprise his role in the Princeton University production of a play about fencing that followed the same structure as  Les Misérables. Many of his old classmates would don the same square hats and take on their old roles.

The reprise of Coach John Robinson was key to winning the national championships that were once a part of a bygone era of success. Wallace stevens believed in the team.

What are synonyms and antonyms of reprise?

There are many different words that are equivalent to the word reprise (​rɪˈpriz). Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same or a similar definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English language tool because they can help you to avoid repeating the same word over and over again while simultaneously expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word reprise is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  repeating
  •  copy
  •  play over
  •  rework
  •  occur again
  •  din
  •  redo
  •  repeats
  •  mimic
  •  recovery
  •  curtain call
  •  say again
  •  parrot
  •  make like
  •  reproduce
  •  reiteration
  •  burden
  •  double-check
  •  recapitulating
  •  replicate
  •  reprisals
  •  retell
  •  resay
  •  rehearse
  •  reduplicate
  •  duplication
  •  buy freedom of
  •  repeat
  •  recur
  •  run over
  •  recite
  •  recapitulate
  •  ingeminate
  •  recurrence
  •  recast
  •  drum into
  •  replay
  •  epitome
  •  remake
  •  recrudesce
  •  rerun
  •  retake
  •  rephrase
  •  reappear
  •  chime
  •  pay for release of
  •  chorus line
  •  recapitulation
  •  rewarn
  •  recheck
  •  rehash
  •  unchain
  •  reciprocate
  •  restate
  •  repeated
  •  come again
  •  relate
  •  hold over
  •  go over
  •  play back
  •  go through again
  •  reform
  •  return
  •  ditto
  •  reshow
  •  reissue
  •  iterate
  •  echo
  •  renew
  •  read back
  •  reiterate
  •  unfetter
  •  reduplication
  •  penalize
  •  repurchase
  •  obtain release of
  •  reaffirm
  •  resumption
  •  recapitulated
  •  regurgitate
  •  reprize
  •  refrain
  •  repetition
  •  avenge
  •  refashion
  •  double
  •  reconstruct
  •  go over again
  •  duplicate
  •  do again
  •  imitate
  •  replication
  •  reinterpret
  •  sing same old song
  •  recap
  •  impromptu item
  •  regain
  •  quote
  •  encore
  •  reoccur

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word reprise (ɹɪˈpɹiːz). These opposite words are known as antonyms, which are words and phrases that have the opposite definitions as another word or phrase. Antonyms are also a useful tool to expand a person’s vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word reprise is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  desist
  •  cease
  •  come to an end
  •  wind up
  •  intention
  •  bring to an end
  •  break off
  •  destination
  •  object
  •  consummation
  •  demise
  •  conclusion
  •  limit
  •  destruction
  •  conclude
  •  closure
  •  abolition
  •  finale
  •  denouement
  •  dissolution
  •  close
  •  complete
  •  objective
  •  discontinue
  •  put an end to
  •  result
  •  culminate
  •  outcome
  •  do away with
  •  annihilation
  •  completion
  •  expiration
  •  closing
  •  cessation
  •  terminate
  •  culmination
  •  death
  •  halt
  •  butt
  •  extremity
  •  last
  •  goal
  •  termination
  •  ending
  •  finish
  •  expire
  •  end
  •  extinction
  •  all the way
  •  purpose
  •  stop

Overall, the word reprise means a repeat of something, whether in a musical or album, ro a repeat payment, like the everyday meaning of a recurrence of an action or a recompense. This word is of French origins and is pronounced ɹɪˈpɹaɪz. 


  1. reprise | Origin and meaning of reprise | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Reprise Synonyms | Power Thesaurus
  3. Reprise definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. Reprise antonyms – 23 Opposites of Reprise | Power Thesaurus 
  5. reprise: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense