What are the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Reprieve’?

Meaning: The word reprieve corresponds to the cancellation or postponement of a punishment or an undesirable event.

Origin: The word has been around since the 1570s and is an alteration of Middle English repryen “take back to prison”, probably from French repris. The meaning “to suspend an impending execution” is from the 1590s, and the meaning probably evolved as being sent to prison was the alternative to execution. The spelling with –e- is from 1640s and is maybe an analogy of achieve.

After falling out of favour during the 20th Century, the word has regained momentum and popularity in this century.

Usage: The medicines provided the patient a temporary reprieve from pain.

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