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verb, re·ha·bil·i·tate \ˌrē-ə-ˈbi-lə-ˌtāt, ˌrē-hə-\

Simple Definition of rehabilitate

  • : to bring (someone or something) back to a normal, healthy condition after an illness, injury, drug problem, etc.

  • : to teach (a criminal in prison) to live a normal and productive life

  • : to bring (someone or something) back to a good condition

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of rehabilitate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to restore to a former capacity :  reinstate b :  to restore to good repute :  reestablish the good name of

  3. 2 a :  to restore to a former state (as of efficiency, good management, or solvency) <rehabilitate slum areas> b :  to restore or bring to a condition of health or useful and constructive activity

rehabilitation play \-ˌbi-lə-ˈtā-shən\ noun
rehabilitative play \-ˈbi-lə-ˌtā-tiv\ adjective
rehabilitator play \-ˌtā-tər\ noun

Examples of rehabilitate in a sentence

  1. The clinic rehabilitates drug addicts.

  2. He's still rehabilitating the knee he injured last summer.

  3. They try to rehabilitate horses that have suffered injuries.

  4. The program is intended to rehabilitate criminals.

  5. The country has rehabilitated its image since the war.

  6. The city plans to rehabilitate its slum areas.

Origin of rehabilitate

Medieval Latin rehabilitatus, past participle of rehabilitare, from Latin re- + Late Latin habilitare to habilitate

First Known Use: circa 1581

Medical Dictionary


play play
transitive verb re·ha·bil·i·tate \ˌrē-(h)ə-ˈbil-ə-ˌtāt\

Medical Definition of rehabilitate

rehabilitated; rehabilitating

  1. :  to restore or bring to a condition of health or useful and constructive activity <rehabilitate patients with hip fractures>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb re·ha·bil·i·tate \ˌrē-ə-ˈbi-lə-ˌtāt, ˌrē-hə-\

Legal Definition of rehabilitate


  1. 1 :  to restore to a former capacity; specifically :  to restore credibility to (a witness or testimony) <the State simply brought out all of the prior statements to qualify or explain the inconsistency and to rehabilitate the witness — People v. Page, 550 N.E.2d 248 (1990)> — compare impeach Editor's note: A witness whose trial testimony is inconsistent with his or her pretrial usually sworn statements is considered impeached. Such a witness may be rehabilitated usually on redirect examination. There are various state and federal evidentiary rules governing what evidence (as character evidence) is admissible to rehabilitate a witness.

  2. 2a :  to restore to a former state (as of good repair or solvency) <if the debtor wishes to liquidate rather than reorganize or rehabilitate the farming operation — J. H. Williamson> b :  to restore (as a convicted criminal defendant) to a useful and constructive place in society through therapy, job training, and other counseling

rehabilitation \-ˌbi-lə-ˈtā-shən\ play noun

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