What does the word reprieve mean?

Usage examples for reprieve

  1. There was, however, no time to indulge the idle stupor, which Glanville's situation at first occasioned; with a violent effort, I shook it off, and bent all my mind to discover the best method to avail myself, to the utmost, of the short reprieve I had succeeded in obtaining; at length, one of those sudden thoughts which, from their suddenness appear more brilliant than they really are, flashed upon my mind. – Pelham, Complete by Edward Bulwer-Lytton Last Updated: March 16, 2009
  2. In March the leaders were tried, and fourteen were convicted of treason and sentenced to death; but Governor Bowdoin, whose term was about to expire, granted a reprieve for a few weeks. – The Critical Period of American History by John Fiske
  3. Seeing no reprieve in either, with drooping tail he slunk into the cage. – Carolyn of the Corners by Ruth Belmore Endicott