con·​va·​lesce | \ ˌkän-və-ˈles How to pronounce convalesce (audio) \
convalesced; convalescing

Definition of convalesce

intransitive verb

: to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness He is convalescing from influenza.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from convalesce

convalescence \ ˌkän-​və-​ˈle-​sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce convalescence (audio) \ noun
convalescent \ ˌkän-​və-​ˈle-​sᵊnt How to pronounce convalescent (audio) \ adjective or noun

Synonyms for convalesce


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

When you convalesce, you heal or grow strong after illness or injury, often by staying off your feet. (The related adjective convalescent means "recovering from sickness or debility," and a "convalescent home" is a hospital for long-term recuperation and rehabilitation.) The word convalesce derives from Latin, from the prefix com- ("with, together, jointly") and the verb "valescere" ("to grow strong"). "Valescere," in turn, is related to the verb "valēre" ("to be strong or be well"), which is also an ancestor of "prevail," "valor," "value," and "valid."

Examples of convalesce in a Sentence

He is convalescing from his leg injuries. the long months that the soldier spent in the hospital slowly convalescing
Recent Examples on the Web Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, will convalesce for some time at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, the government said in a statement. Mark Landler,, "Boris Johnson leaves UK hospital after coronavirus treatment," 12 Apr. 2020 Awkward Questions While Juncker, who’s been convalescing following surgery to treat an aneurysm, isn’t on trial, the case will revisit awkward questions. Stephanie Bodoni,, "Spy Scandal Comes Back to Haunt Ex-EU Chief Juncker’s Retirement," 24 Apr. 2020 Home hospitalization could be an option for convalescing patients who might otherwise be sent to a post-acute care center such as a skilled nursing home or an inpatient rehab facility. NBC News, "Hospitals make room for coronavirus patients by trying to treat people at home," 26 Mar. 2020 Their mother, the seventy-six-year-old Susan Hailey, had lived at the home since November, convalescing from knee surgery. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, "A Week at the Epicenter of America’s Coronavirus Crisis," 13 Mar. 2020 In 1944, it was given as a gift by the original owner’s sons to the Roman Catholic Archbishopric of New York which used it as an annex of St. Clare’s hospital for convalescing soldiers returning from World War II. Sarah Midkiff,, "The Frick Collection Could Turn Jeffrey Epstein’s Home Into An Art Museum," 21 Jan. 2020 Its clients are eligible individuals unable to shop for or prepare meals safely themselves, including the elderly or those temporarily ill, convalescing, disabled or home bound. cleveland, "Soup sales benefit Meals on Wheels clients: Olmsted Dates and Data," 16 Jan. 2020 Kimberly Gervais, 57, was convalescing at a nursing facility in Redlands, Calif. after suffering spinal injuries in the 2017 shooting, according to a coroner statement from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Las Vegas Massacre Claims Another Victim After Woman Dies 2 Years After She Was Shot," 19 Nov. 2019 The 57-year-old of Mira Loma, California, was convalescing at a nursing facility in Redlands, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said in a coroner statement. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "More than two years after Las Vegas shooting, victim dies in California," 19 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'convalesce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of convalesce

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for convalesce

Latin convalescere, from com- + valescere to grow strong, from valēre to be strong, be well — more at wield

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about convalesce

Time Traveler for convalesce

Time Traveler

The first known use of convalesce was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about convalesce

Statistics for convalesce

Cite this Entry

“Convalesce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for convalesce


How to pronounce convalesce (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of convalesce

: to become healthy and strong again slowly over time after illness, weakness, or injury


con·​va·​lesce | \ ˌkän-və-ˈles How to pronounce convalesce (audio) \
convalesced; convalescing

Kids Definition of convalesce

: to regain health and strength gradually after sickness or injury
con·​va·​lesce | \ ˌkän-və-ˈles How to pronounce convalesce (audio) \
convalesced; convalescing

Medical Definition of convalesce

: to recover health and strength gradually after sickness or weakness

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on convalesce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for convalesce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with convalesce

Spanish Central: Translation of convalesce

Nglish: Translation of convalesce for Spanish Speakers

Comments on convalesce

What made you want to look up convalesce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!