[kon-vuh-les-uh ns]


the gradual recovery of health and strength after illness.
the period during which one is convalescing.

Origin of convalescence

From the Late Latin word convalēscentia, dating back to 1480–90. See convalesce, -ence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for convalescence

Contemporary Examples of convalescence

Historical Examples of convalescence

  • I kept about twenty men who were on the road to convalescence.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The convalescence from such a sickness was necessarily long and tiresome.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • The convalescence was slow, lasting through the whole of February.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • So long as he did not work he felt that his convalescence was making little progress.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • He was convalescent, both in body and spirit, but convalescence brought no joy.

British Dictionary definitions for convalescence



gradual return to health after illness, injury, or an operation, esp through rest
the period during which such recovery occurs
Derived Formsconvalescent, noun, adjectiveconvalescently, adverb
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 convalescence

late 15c., from Middle French convalescence (15c.), from Late Latin convalescentia "regaining of health," from convalescentem (nominative convalescens), present participle of convalescere (see convalesce).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

convalescence in Medicine




Gradual return to health and strength after an illness, an injury, or a surgical operation.
The period needed for returning to health after an illness, an injury, or a surgical operation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.