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[alteration of earlier repry to send back (to prison), return to custody, perhaps from Anglo-French repris, past participle of reprendre to take back, from Old French]
: to delay the punishment of (as a condemned prisoner)
n 1 a : the act of reprieving
: the state of being reprieved
b : a formal temporary suspension of the execution of a sentence esp. of death as an act of clemency
2 : an order or warrant of reprieve
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.