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See more synonyms for recover on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to get back or regain (something lost or taken away): to recover a stolen watch.
  2. to make up for or make good (loss, damage, etc., to oneself).
  3. to regain the strength, composure, balance, or the like, of (oneself).
  4. Law.
    1. to obtain by judgment in a court of law, or by legal proceedings: to recover damages for a wrong.
    2. to acquire title to through judicial process: to recover land.
  5. to reclaim from a bad state, practice, etc.
  6. to regain (a substance) in usable form, as from refuse material or from a waste product or by-product of manufacture; reclaim.
  7. Military. to return (a weapon) to a previously held position in the manual of arms.
  8. Football. to gain or regain possession of (a fumble): They recovered the ball on their own 20-yard line.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to regain health after being sick, wounded, or the like (often followed by from): to recover from an illness.
  2. to regain a former and better state or condition: The city soon recovered from the effects of the earthquake.
  3. to regain one's strength, composure, balance, etc.
  4. Law. to obtain a favorable judgment in a suit for something.
  5. Football. to gain or regain possession of a fumble: The Giants recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
  6. to make a recovery in fencing or rowing.
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Origin of recover

1300–50; Middle English recoveren < Middle French recoverer < Latin recuperāre to regain, recuperate
Related formsre·cov·er·er, noun
Can be confusedre-cover recover

Synonyms for recover

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. Recover, reclaim, retrieve are to regain literally or figuratively something or someone. To recover is to obtain again what one has lost possession of: to recover a stolen jewel. To reclaim is to bring back from error or wrongdoing, or from a rude or undeveloped state: to reclaim desert land by irrigation. To retrieve is to bring back or restore, especially something to its former, prosperous state: to retrieve one's fortune. 9. heal, mend, recuperate; rally.


verb (used with object)
  1. to cover again or anew.
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Origin of re-cover

1375–1425; late Middle English recoveren; see re-, cover
Can be confusedre-cover recover
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for recover

regain, restore, retrieve, rescue, resume, repair, recoup, salvage, reclaim, revive, rebound, grow, increase, gain, overcome, heal, recuperate, retake, recruit, repossess

Examples from the Web for recover

Contemporary Examples of recover

Historical Examples of recover

  • It has been our good luck to recover a portion of that history.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • At first, when he began to recover, he tried to talk to her about it.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • We who were near to Helen have been slow to recover from the shock and the bitterness of her death.

  • She could not recover her ease of mind until she had the certainty that she was still beloved.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • In the meantime, the man who had for so far lain insensible, began to recover slowly.


    Scian Dubh

British Dictionary definitions for recover


  1. (tr) to find again or obtain the return of (something lost)
  2. to regain (loss of money, position, time, etc); recoup
  3. (of a person) to regain (health, spirits, composure, etc), as after illness, a setback, or a shock, etc
  4. to regain (a former and usually better condition)industry recovered after the war
  5. law
    1. (tr)to gain (something) by the judgment of a court of lawto recover damages
    2. (intr)to succeed in a lawsuit
  6. (tr) to obtain (useful substances) from waste
  7. (intr) (in fencing, swimming, rowing, etc) to make a recovery
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Derived Formsrecoverable, adjectiverecoverability, nounrecoverer, noun

Word Origin for recover

C14: from Old French recoverer, from Latin recuperāre recuperate


verb (tr)
  1. to cover again
  2. to provide (a piece of furniture, book, etc) with a new cover
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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 recover


c.1300, "to regain consciousness," from Anglo-French rekeverer (13c.), Old French recovrer "come back, return; regain health; procure, get again" (11c.), from Medieval Latin recuperare "to recover" (source of Spanish recobrar, Italian ricoverare; see recuperation). Meaning "to regain health or strength" is from early 14c.; sense of "to get (anything) back" is first attested mid-14c. Related: Recovered; recovering.

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"to put a new cover on," c.1400, from re- "again" + cover (v.). Related: Re-covered; re-covering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper