re·​hearse | \ ri-ˈhərs How to pronounce rehearse (audio) \
rehearsed; rehearsing

Definition of rehearse

transitive verb

1a : to say again : repeat
b : to recite aloud in a formal manner
2 : to present an account of : relate rehearse a familiar story
3 : to recount in order : enumerate rehearsed their demands
4a : to give a rehearsal of
b : to train or make proficient by rehearsal
5 : to perform or practice as if in a rehearsal

intransitive verb

: to engage in a rehearsal

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Other Words from rehearse

rehearser noun

Synonyms for rehearse


exercise, practice (also practise), run over

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Examples of rehearse in a Sentence

The orchestra is rehearsing a piece by Schumann. The band stayed up late rehearsing for the big show. We were allowed to watch the director rehearse the dancers. lawyers rehearsing their closing arguments He rehearsed his dance moves in front of the mirror.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nixon had been ailing from a staph infection in his knee and came to the debate without rehearsing his responses. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Sander Vanocur, TV journalist and panelist in Kennedy-Nixon debate, dies at 91," 17 Sep. 2019 The senator from California tried to reignite her stuck campaign with a few rehearsed one-liners, chiefly at Mr Trump’s expense. Lexington | Washington, The Economist, "The third Democratic primary debate thins the field," 13 Sep. 2019 The offenders didn’t just rehearse the play, Hamilton said. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "“This isn’t ‘Orange Is the New Black'”: Colorado inmates take theater production on tour," 11 Sep. 2019 The film became a cult favorite as an expression of the Beat philosophy of improvisation and spontaneity even though, as Leslie later revealed, it was planned and rehearsed. Philip Gefter, New York Times, "Robert Frank Dies; Pivotal Documentary Photographer Was 94," 10 Sep. 2019 Medina Symphony Orchestra rehearses: Rehearsals begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 for the historic Medina Symphony Orchestra’s second concert of the year. Sam Boyer,, "Community park gets a facelift: Whit & Whimsey," 6 Sep. 2019 There’s hopefully never … a feeling that I’m too rehearsed. Elizabeth Nonemaker,, "Mixing Bach and improvisation, Juliana Soltis makes classical music different every time she performs," 6 Sep. 2019 Just two days earlier, the couple, their families and their bridal party spent two hours rehearsing at The Landing. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "Couples planning weddings jilted by owner of Seattle event venue," 24 July 2019 Morgan was 21 and rehearsing Aurora again when her once straight road began to fork. Emily Dixon, CNN, "Doctors couldn't explain why an acclaimed ballet dancer was ill. Finally, she's resurrecting her career," 13 July 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for rehearse

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

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Statistics for rehearse

Last Updated

30 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for rehearse

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

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More Definitions for rehearse



English Language Learners 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


re·​hearse | \ ri-ˈhərs How to pronounce rehearse (audio) \
rehearsed; rehearsing

Kids Definition of rehearse

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rehearse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rehearse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rehearse

Spanish Central: Translation of rehearse

Nglish: Translation of rehearse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rehearse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rehearse

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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