American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To postpone or cancel the punishment of.
- v. To bring relief to.
- n. Postponement or cancellation of a punishment.
- n. A warrant for such an action.
- n. Temporary relief, as from danger or pain.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To acquit; set free; release.
- To grant a respite to; suspend or delay the execution of for a time: as, to reprieve a criminal for thirty days.
- To relieve for a time from any danger or suffering; respite; spare; save.
- To secure a postponement of (an execution).
- Synonyms See the noun.
- n. The suspension of the execution of a criminal's sentence. Sometimes incorrectly used to signify a permanent remission or commutation of a capital sentence. In the United States reprieves may be granted by the President, by the governor of a State, governor and council, etc.; in Great Britain they are granted by the home secretary in the name of the sovereign. See
- n. Respite in general; interval of ease or relief; delay of something dreaded.
- n. Synonyms Reprieve, Respite. Reprieve is now used chiefly in the sense of the first definition, to name a suspension or postponement of the execution of a sentence of death. Respite is a free word, applying to an intermission or postponement of something wearying, burdensome, or troublesome: as, respite from work. Respite may be for an indefinite or a definite time; a reprieve is generally for a time named. A respite may be a reprieve.
- v. transitive To cancel or postpone the punishment of someone, especially an execution.
- v. transitive To bring relief to someone.
- v. transitive, obsolete To take back to prison (in lieu of execution).
- n. The cancellation or postponement of a punishment.
- n. A document authorizing such an action.
- n. Relief from pain etc., especially temporary.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To delay the punishment of; to suspend the execution of sentence on; to give a respite to; to respite.
- v. To relieve for a time, or temporarily.
- n. A temporary suspension of the execution of a sentence, especially of a sentence of death.
- n. Interval of ease or relief; respite.
- n. the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment
- n. an interruption in the intensity or amount of something
- n. a warrant granting postponement (usually to postpone the execution of the death sentence)
- n. a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort
- v. postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution
- v. relieve temporarily
- 1571, in sense of “to take back to prison”, from Middle English repryen ("to remand, detain") (1494), probably from Middle French repris, form of reprendre ("take back"); cognate to reprise. Sense generalized, but retains connotations of punishment and execution. Noun attested 1598. (Wiktionary)
- Alteration (influenced by Middle English repreven, to contradict, variant of reproven, to rebuke) of Middle English reprien, probably from Old French repris, past participle of reprendre, to take back, from Latin reprehendere, reprēndere, to hold back; see reprehend. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Political correctness, diversity policies, and multiculturalism are forms of deference that give whites and institutions a way to prove the negative and win reprieve from the racist stigma. martindavis”
“Men are apt to think that a reprieve is the forerunner of a pardon, and that if judgment be not speedily executed it is, or will be, certainly reversed.”
“Will the American people look at it as a day of reprieve from a mailbox full of bills and junk mail?”
“But many fund managers see the dollar's recent gains as nothing more than a short-term reprieve.”
“At a press conference a few days later, he was still going, this time on the subject of O'Loughlin's reprieve from the disciplinary committee.”
“You get all the comforts of cabin life – a bed, reprieve from the bugs, and weather – while still being able to connect to the surrounding nature.”
“Lawmakers also declined to grant a reprieve from a $5.5 billion payment to prefund USPS retiree health benefits.”
“Despite getting a reprieve from the Supreme Court, which allowed it to mine in undisputed areas, the company was again blocked by the local government.”
“Republican gains in Congress will likely give Wall Street only a limited reprieve from the sweeping financial overhaul signed into law in July, while exposing banks and securities firms to heightened risk of hostile rhetoric from tea-party lawmakers.”
“The temporary reprieve is nothing but a band aid solution.”
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