verb (used with object), reprieved, reprieving.
to delay the impending punishment or sentence of (a condemned person).
to relieve temporarily from any evil.
a respite from impending punishment, as from execution of a sentence of death.
a warrant authorizing this.
any respite or temporary relief.

1300–50; perhaps conflation of Middle English repreven to reprove, apparently taken in literal sense “to test again” (involving postponement), and Middle English repried (past participle) < Old French reprit (see reprise)

repriever, noun
unreprieved, adjective

3. See pardon. 5. delay, postponement, stay, deferment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
reprieve (rɪˈpriːv)
1.  to postpone or remit the punishment of (a person, esp one condemned to death)
2.  to give temporary relief to (a person or thing), esp from otherwise irrevocable harm: the government has reprieved the company with a huge loan
3.  a postponement or remission of punishment, esp of a person condemned to death
4.  a warrant granting a postponement
5.  a temporary relief from pain or harm; respite
6.  the act of reprieving or the state of being reprieved
[C16: from Old French repris (something) taken back, from reprendre to take back, from Latin reprehendere; perhaps also influenced by obsolete English repreve to reprove]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1571, "take back to prison," from M.E. repryen "to remand, detain" (1494), probably from M.Fr. repris, pp. of reprendre "take back" (see reprise). Meaning "to suspend an impending execution" is recorded from 1596. Sense evolved because being sent back to prison was the alternative
to being executed. The noun is first attested 1598.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
During their reprieve, they gave extraordinary proofs of charity and humility.
It was the second reprieve he had had within the last half hour.
After a decades-long reprieve, bed bugs have returned with a vengeance,
  plaguing rich and poor alike.
But for-profit colleges aren't waiting for a judicial reprieve.
Related Words
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