• synonyms


[ree-huh-bil-i-teyt, ree-uh-]
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verb (used with object), re·ha·bil·i·tat·ed, re·ha·bil·i·tat·ing.
  1. to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work, or the like.
  2. to restore to good condition, operation, or management, as a bankrupt business.
  3. to reestablish the good reputation of (a person, one's character or name, etc.).
  4. to restore formally to former capacity, standing, rank, rights, or privileges.
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verb (used without object), re·ha·bil·i·tat·ed, re·ha·bil·i·tat·ing.
  1. to undergo rehabilitation.
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Origin of rehabilitate

1570–80; < Medieval Latin rehabilitātus, past participle of rehabilitāre to restore. See re-, habilitate
Related formsre·ha·bil·i·ta·tion, nounre·ha·bil·i·ta·tive, adjectivere·ha·bil·i·ta·tor, nounnon·re·ha·bil·i·ta·tion, nounnon·re·ha·bil·i·ta·tive, adjectiveun·re·ha·bil·i·tat·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rehabilitation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It moved Burke to a desire for rehabilitation in her estimation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • A vague idea of rehabilitation had entered the plan of their life.

  • But this is later evidence given in the trial of Rehabilitation.

  • One hundred dollars did I allow her for the rehabilitation of that dreary apartment.

    Dear Enemy

    Jean Webster

  • If Inger goes up for rehabilitation, it will be because he wants it.


    James H Schmitz

British Dictionary definitions for rehabilitation


  1. the act or process of rehabilitating
  2. med
    1. the treatment of physical disabilities by massage, electrotherapy, or exercises
    2. (as modifier)rehabilitation centre
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verb (tr)
  1. to help (a person who has acquired a disability or addiction or who has just been released from prison) to readapt to society or a new job, as by vocational guidance, retraining, or therapy
  2. to restore to a former position or rank
  3. to restore the good reputation of
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Derived Formsrehabilitative, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin rehabilitāre to restore, from re- + Latin habilitās skill, ability
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 rehabilitation


1530s, from Middle French réhabilitation and directly from Medieval Latin rehabilitationem (nominative rehabilitatio) "restoration," noun of action from past participle stem of rehabilitare, from re- "again" (see re-) + habitare "make fit," from Latin habilis "easily managed, fit" (see able). Specifically of criminals, addicts, etc., from 1940.

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1570s, "to bring back to a former condition after decay or damage," back-formation from rehabilitation and in part from Medieval Latin rehabilitatus, past participle of rehabilitare. Meaning "to restore one's reputation or character in the eyes of others" is from 1847. Related: Rehabilitated; rehabilitating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rehabilitation in Medicine


  1. To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education.
  2. To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity.
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Related formsre′ha•bil′i•tation n.re′ha•bili•ta′tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

rehabilitation in Culture


In politics, the restoration to favor of a political leader whose views or actions were formerly considered unacceptable. (Compare nonperson.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.