verb (1)
re·cov·er | \ ri-ˈkə-vər \
recovered; recovering\ri-ˈkə-və-riŋ, -ˈkəv-riŋ \

Definition of recover 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to get back : regain

2a : to bring back to normal position or condition stumbled, then recovered himself

b archaic : rescue

3a : to make up for recover increased costs through higher prices

b : to gain by legal process

4 archaic : reach

5 : to find or identify again recover a comet

6a : to obtain from an ore, a waste product, or a by-product

b : to save from loss and restore to usefulness : reclaim

intransitive verb

1 : to regain a normal position or condition (as of health) recovering from a cold

2 : to obtain a final legal judgment in one's favor


verb (2)
re-cov·er | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈkə-vər \
re-covered; re-covering; re-covers

Definition of re-cover (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover again or anew

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Other words from recover

Verb (1)

recoverability \ri-ˌkə-və-rə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -ˌkəv-rə- \ noun
recoverable \ri-ˈkə-və-rə-bəl, -ˈkəv-rə- \ adjective
recoverer \ri-ˈkə-vər-ər \ noun

Examples of recover in a Sentence

Verb (1)

She had a heart attack but is recovering well. Share prices will be down until the economy recovers. She recovered consciousness in the hospital. I slipped, but somehow recovered my balance. He suffered a stroke and hasn't yet recovered the use of his left arm. The police recovered his stolen wallet. The program helps users recover computer files that have been deleted.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Puerto Rico has continued to struggle both to recover from the 2017 storms and prepare for the 2018 season. Frances Robles, New York Times, "FEMA Was Sorely Unprepared for Puerto Rico Hurricane, Report Says," 12 July 2018 Canty’s remains were recovered from a crash site in the French village of Gavrus, southwest of Caen and identified in December through DNA testing., "WWII Veteran John Canty Of Winsted Buried at Arlington," 10 July 2018 Pfizer shares dipped slightly after Trump criticized the company on Twitter but then recovered and were up 0.3% at 2:17 p.m. The tweet falls in line with similar past missives by Trump, who has ripped drug companies for price hikes. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "President Trump slams Pfizer drug price increases, threatens action," 9 July 2018 The story mostly fell out of the headlines after the Skripals recovered and several sites around Salisbury were decontaminated. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "British Woman Dies After Being Exposed to Nerve Agent Used on Former Russian Spy," 9 July 2018 Once the ref makes his call, Neymar pops up, seemingly recovered, and ready to return to play. Melissa Locker, Time, "Hilarious Young Soccer Players Had Way Too Much Fun Doing 'the Neymar'," 6 July 2018 Lloris recovered from the incident and made a crucial save before halftime to preserve France’s 1-0 lead. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "A giant bug nearly flew into French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' mouth," 6 July 2018 Rocca acknowledged the decision to push ahead with the new plant as oil prices plunged was a difficult and stressful, but the plant ultimately opened as oil prices recovered and drilling picked up. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Tenaris to reopen Conroe pipe plant," 27 June 2018 Now MadBum is back, fully recovered from the bike-spill injuries and from a broken hand in spring training, and his challenge is simple: Return himself and his team to previous glory. Scott Ostler,, "Bumgarner’s back, bringing new life to Giants," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recover.' 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 recover

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recover

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French recoverer, from Latin recuperare, from re- + *caperare, from Latin capere to take — more at heave

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Phrases Related to recover

recover damages

Statistics for recover

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recover

The first known use of recover was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for recover



English Language Learners Definition of recover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become healthy after an illness or injury : to return to normal health

: to return to a normal state after a period of difficulty

: to get (something, such as an ability or feeling) again



English Language Learners Definition of re-cover (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover (something) again : to put a new cover on (something)


re·cov·er | \ ri-ˈkə-vər \
recovered; recovering

Kids Definition of recover

1 : to get back : regain I recovered my lost wallet. Mary began to recover her breath and feel safer … —Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

2 : to regain or return to a normal or usual state (as of health or composure Have you recovered from the flu?

3 : to make up for We can't recover lost time.

re·cov·er | \ ri-ˈkəv-ər \
recovered; recovering\-(ə-)riŋ \

Medical Definition of recover 

: to regain a normal position or condition (as of health) recovering from the effects of a cold

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transitive verb
re·cov·er | \ ri-ˈkə-vər \

Legal Definition of recover 

1 : to get back or get back an equivalent for recover costs through higher prices

2a : to obtain or get back (as damages, satisfaction for a debt, or property) through a judgment or decree recover damages in a tort action

b : to obtain (a judgment) in one's favor

intransitive verb

1 : to get something back

2 : to obtain damages or something else through a judgment argued that the plaintiff should not be permitted to recover

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Comments on recover

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to make amends

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