[ri-hur-suh l]


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 formspre·re·hears·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rehearsal

Contemporary Examples of rehearsal

Historical Examples of rehearsal

  • They had a rehearsal last night, but of course I was not there.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • On the previous day there was the first rehearsal of Handel's Admeto.


    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; recitalrehearsal 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

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

rehearsal in Medicine




The process of repeating information, such as a name or a list of words, in order to remember it.
Related formsre•hearse v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.