Meaning of reprieve

reprieve




A reprieve is a break in or cancellation of a painful or otherwise lousy situation. If you’re being tortured, a reprieve is a break from whatever’s tormenting you.

For some, a night at the opera is a night of punishing boredom during which the only reprieve is the intermission. For others, it’s baseball that feels like torture. The seventh-inning stretch is the only reprieve from a night of endless waiting. Often, you’ll hear reprieve used when a court or governor decides not to execute a prisoner. That prisoner is given a reprieve and will be allowed to live. He probably won’t get a reprieve from prison, though, unless he’s found innocent.

Definitions of reprieve
  1. verb

    postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution

    synonyms:

    respite

  2. noun

    the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment

    synonyms:

    respite

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    type of:

    clemency, mercifulness, mercy

    leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice

  3. noun

    a warrant granting postponement (usually to postpone the execution of the death sentence)

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    type of:

    warrant

    a writ from a court commanding police to perform specified acts

  4. verb

    relieve temporarily

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    type of:

    deliver, rescue

    free from harm or evil

  5. noun

    a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort

    synonyms:

    respite

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    type of:

    ease, relief

    the condition of being comfortable or relieved (especially after being relieved of distress)

  6. noun

    an interruption in the intensity or amount of something

    synonyms:

    abatement, hiatus, respite, suspension

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    types:

    defervescence

    abatement of a fever as indicated by a reduction in body temperature
    remission, remittal, subsidence

    an abatement in intensity or degree (as in the manifestations of a disease)
    resolution

    the subsidence of swelling or other signs of inflammation (especially in a lung)
    type of:

    break, interruption

    some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity

Word Family

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