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verb (used with object), re·hearsed, re·hears·ing.
  1. to practice (a musical composition, a play, a speech, etc.) in private prior to a public presentation.
  2. to drill or train (an actor, musician, etc.) by rehearsal, as for some performance or part.
  3. to relate the facts or particulars of; recount.
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verb (used without object), re·hearsed, re·hears·ing.
  1. to rehearse a play, part, etc.; participate in a rehearsal.
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Origin of rehearse

1300–50; Middle English rehersen, rehercen < Middle French rehercier to repeat, equivalent to re- re- + hercier to strike, harrow (derivative of herce, herse a harrow); see hearse
Related formsre·hears·a·ble, adjectivere·hears·er, nounun·re·hears·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·hearsed, adjectiveun·re·hears·ing, adjectivewell-re·hearsed, adjective

Synonyms for rehearse

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

Related Words for rehearse

hone, recite, reenact, ready, describe, recount, relate, study, practice, reiterate, tell, test, experiment, narrate, drill, act, train, iterate, recapitulate, review

British Dictionary definitions for rehearse


  1. to practise (a play, concert, etc), in preparation for public performance
  2. (tr) to run through; recount; recitethe official rehearsed the grievances of the committee
  3. (tr) to train or drill (a person or animal) for the public performance of a part in a play, show, etc
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Derived Formsrehearser, noun

Word Origin for rehearse

C16: from Anglo-Norman rehearser, from Old French rehercier to harrow a second time, from re- + herce harrow
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 rehearse


c.1300, "to give an account of," from Anglo-French rehearser, Old French rehercier "to go over again, repeat," literally "to rake over, turn over" (soil, ground), from re- "again" (see re-) + hercier "to rake, harrow" (see hearse). Meaning "to say over again, repeat what has already been said or written" is from mid-14c.; sense of "practice a play, part, etc." is from 1570s. Related: Rehearsed; rehearsing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper