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reprieve (v.)

1570s, reprive, "take back to prison," alteration (perhaps by influence of reprove) of Middle English repryen "to remand, detain" (late 15c.), probably from French repris, past participle of reprendre "take back" (see reprise). Meaning "to suspend an impending execution" is recorded from 1590s; this sense evolved probably because being sent back to prison was the alternative to execution. Spelling with -ie- is from 1640s, perhaps by analogy of achieve, etc. Related: Reprieved; reprieving.

reprieve (n.)

1590s, "suspension of the execution of a criminal's sentence," from reprieve (v.). By 1630s in a general sense of "respite or temporary escape."

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Definitions of reprieve from WordNet
1
reprieve (n.)
a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort;
Synonyms: respite
reprieve (n.)
an interruption in the intensity or amount of something;
reprieve (n.)
a warrant granting postponement (usually to postpone the execution of the death sentence);
reprieve (n.)
the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment;
Synonyms: respite
2
reprieve (v.)
postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution;
Synonyms: respite
reprieve (v.)
relieve temporarily;
From wordnet.princeton.edu