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verb re·hearse \ri-ˈhərs\

Simple Definition of rehearse

  • : to prepare for a public performance of a play, a piece of music, etc., by practicing the performance

  • : to direct (a group of people) as they prepare for a public performance

  • : to say or do (something) several times in order to practice

Full Definition of rehearse


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to say again :  repeat b :  to recite aloud in a formal manner

  3. 2 :  to present an account of :  relate <rehearse a familiar story>

  4. 3 :  to recount in order :  enumerate <rehearsed their demands>

  5. 4 a :  to give a rehearsal of b :  to train or make proficient by rehearsal

  6. 5 :  to perform or practice as if in a rehearsal

  7. intransitive verb
  8. :  to engage in a rehearsal

re·hears·er noun

Examples of rehearse

  1. The orchestra is rehearsing a piece by Schumann.

  2. The band stayed up late rehearsing for the big show.

  3. We were allowed to watch the director rehearse the dancers.

  4. lawyers rehearsing their closing arguments

  5. He rehearsed his dance moves in front of the mirror.

Origin of rehearse

Middle English rehersen, from Anglo-French rehercer, from re- + hercer to harrow, from herce harrow — more at hearse

First Known Use: 14th century

REHEARSE Defined for Kids


verb re·hearse \ri-ˈhərs\

Definition of rehearse


  1. :  to practice in private in preparation for a public performance <We rehearsed our play.>

History for rehearse

A device called a harrow is used to break up and smooth soil. Sometimes the first run with the harrow does not break up all the lumps of earth, and the farmer has to take the harrow over the ground more than once. The medieval French verb rehercer (from herce, “harrow”) meant “to go over again with a harrow.” English borrowed this verb as rehersen, later rehearse. When we rehearse something we are, so to speak, going over the same ground again and again.

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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