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[ri-hur-suh l] /rɪˈhɜr səl/
a session of exercise, drill, or practice, usually private, in preparation for a public performance, ceremony, etc.:
a play rehearsal; a wedding rehearsal.
the act of rehearsing.
a repeating or relating:
a rehearsal of grievances.
Origin of rehearsal
First recorded in 1350-1400, rehearsal is from the Middle English word rehersaille. See rehearse, -al2
Related forms
prerehearsal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rehearsal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had a rehearsal last night, but of course I was not there.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • On the previous day there was the first rehearsal of Handel's Admeto.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • A rehearsal, of course, must be very different from a performance.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • It was as though the other night had been a rehearsal, and as if now she knew what was coming.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • When this rehearsal was over Perrin came to me; he had an affectionate and constrained air.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for rehearsal


a session of practising a play, concert, speech etc, in preparation for public performance the act of reciting
the act of going through or recounting; recital: rehearsal of his own virtues was his usual occupation
in rehearsal, being prepared for public performance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rehearsal

late 14c., "restatement, repetition of the words of another," from rehearse + -al (2), or from Old French rehearsal "a repeating." Sense in theater and music, "act of rehearsing," is from 1570s. Pre-wedding rehearsal dinner attested by 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rehearsal in Medicine

rehearsal re·hears·al (rĭ-hûr'səl)
The process of repeating information, such as a name or a list of words, in order to remember it.

re·hearse' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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