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.

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Other Words from convalesce

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

Synonyms for convalesce


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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 Then to nurse, to convalesce, to talk, to listen, to seek meaning. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 10 Dec. 2020 Whatever the case, a fairly abrupt plot turn sends Roderick off on his tour while Charlotte remains behind to convalesce in Mary’s care. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 3 Dec. 2020 Early on Friday, White House officials indicated the president would convalesce at the White House. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2020 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,, 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,, 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, 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, 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,, 21 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for convalesce

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

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Cite this Entry

“Convalesce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for convalesce



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


intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on convalesce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for convalesce

Nglish: Translation of convalesce for Spanish Speakers


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