AskDefine | Define reprieve

Dictionary Definition



1 a (temporary) relief from harm or discomfort [syn: respite]
2 an interruption in the intensity or amount of something [syn: suspension, respite, hiatus, abatement]
3 a warrant granting postponement (usually to postpone the execution of the death sentence)
4 the act of reprieving; postponing or remitting punishment [syn: respite]


1 postpone the punishment of a convicted criminal, such as an execution [syn: respite]
2 relieve temporarily

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. To cancel or postpone the punishment of someone, especially an execution.
  2. To bring relief to someone.


  1. The cancellation or postponement of a punishment.
  2. A document authorizing such an action.
  3. Relief from pain etc., especially temporary.

Extensive Definition

  • A reprieve is a postponement of the execution of a sentence imposed by a court.
Reprieve can refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absolution, afterthought, amnesty, benevolence, bind, block, blockage, bureaucratic delay, catharsis, cleanse, cleanse away, cleansing, clemency, commiseration, compassion, condolence, delay, delayage, delayed reaction, deliver, deliverance, detention, discharge, double take, dragging, emotional release, exculpation, excuse, exemption, exoneration, favor, feeling, forbear, forbearance, forgive, forgiveness, free, free from, freeing, give quarter, give release, give respite, grace, grant a reprieve, halt, hang-up, have mercy upon, have pity, hindrance, holdup, humanity, immunity, indemnity, interim, intermission, intermit, jam, kindness, lag, lagging, leniency, let off, let up on, logjam, melt, mercy, mitigation, moratorium, obstruction, paperasserie, pardon, pathos, pause, pity, postponement, purgation, purge, purge away, purging, quarter, red tape, red-tapeism, red-tapery, redemption, relax, release, relent, relief, remission, remission of sin, removal, remove, rescue, respite, retardance, retardation, ruth, save, self-pity, shrift, slow-up, slowdown, slowness, spare, sparing, stay, stay of execution, stop, stoppage, surcease, suspend, suspension, sympathy, take pity on, thaw, tie-up, time lag, wait
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