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See more synonyms for convalesce on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), con·va·lesced, con·va·lesc·ing.
  1. to recover health and strength after illness; make progress toward recovery of health.
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Origin of convalesce

1475–85; < Latin convalēscere to grow fully strong, equivalent to con- con- + valēscere to grow strong (val(ēre) to be well + -escere -esce)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for convalesce

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It took Mrs. Upton a fortnight to get over one of these visits—to convalesce.

    "Run To Seed"

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • But was she back from Scotland, where they knew she had gone to convalesce?

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • These were happy days; I had nothing to do but to convalesce.

    Who Goes There?

    Blackwood Ketcham Benson

  • What would she say if told that the caller meant to wait right there until Mr. Baird should convalesce?

    Merton of the Movies

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She began to convalesce slowly but surely, and one day she turned the nurses out of the room and sent for her Uncle Robert.

British Dictionary definitions for convalesce


  1. (intr) to recover from illness, injury, or the aftereffects of a surgical operation, esp by resting
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin convalēscere, from com- (intensive) + valēscere to grow strong, from valēre to be strong
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

Word Origin and History for convalesce


late 15c., from Latin convalescere "thrive, regain health," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + valescere "to begin to grow strong," inchoative of valere "to be strong" (see valiant). Only in Caxton and Scottish writers until 19c. Related: Convalesced; convalescing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

convalesce in Medicine


  1. To return to health and strength after illness; recuperate.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.