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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Comparison of usage frequency between the verb rehabilitate and its most common antonym:


Definition of the verb rehabilitate

What does rehabilitate mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: rehabilitated | rehabilitating | rehabilitates

  1. help to readapt, as to a former state of health or good repute
    • examples: The prisoner was successfully rehabilitated | After a year in the mental clinic, the patient is now rehabilitated
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic words: reconstruct / restore = return to its original or usable and functioning condition
  2. reinstall politically
    • example: Deng Xiao Ping was rehabilitated several times throughout his lifetime
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • antonym: purge
    • more generic word: reinstate = restore to the previous state or rank
  3. restore to a state of good condition or operation
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic words: reconstruct / restore = return to its original or usable and functioning condition

Alternative definition of the verb rehabilitate


  1. [transitive] To restore (someone) to their former state, reputation, possessions, status etc. [definition from 16th c.]
  2. [transitive] To vindicate; to restore the reputation or image of (a person, concept etc.). [definition from 18th c.]
  3. [transitive] To return (something) to its original condition. [definition from 19th c.]
  4. [transitive, North America] To restore or repair (a vehicle, building); to make habitable or usable again. [definition from 19th c.]
  5. [transitive] To restore to (a criminal etc.) the necessary training and education to allow for a successful reintegration into society; to retrain. [definition from 19th c.]
  6. [transitive] To return (someone) to good health after illness, addiction etc. [definition from 19th c.]
  7. [intransitive] To go through such a process; to recover. [definition from 20th c.]

Specialised definition of the verb rehabilitate

Glossary of sports

to make someone fit to work or to lead their usual life (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for rehabilitate

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Google previewOlivononics (2000)

A Philosophy in Self-Rehabilitation by Francis A. Olivo

The inmate that didn't take the life sentence at face value and started to rehabilitate is the most likely candidate to be released from prison. This inmate understood that laws change and people do forgive and it's possible to in fact get out of ...

Google previewDog Training 101 (2007)

by Karen Freeman Duet, George Duet

The hardest dog to rehabilitate is the one who has weak nerves and has 287.

Google previewFundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills (2004)

by International Association of Fire Chiefs

To rehabilitate means to restore to a condition of health or to a state of useful and constructive activity. Fighting fires is a job that requires excellent physical conditioning to combat the rigors of heat, cold, smoke, flames, physical exertion, and ...

Google previewReport (1968)

by United States. National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

The task of imposing penalties for many riot defendants which will deter and rehabilitate is a formidable one. A general policy should be adopted to give credit on jail sentences for preconviction detention time in riot cases. After the riot is over, ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies (2004)

by Ellis Cashmore

® rehabilitate ̄. Marx«s theory ofhistory, paying particularattention to the dissolution of ...

Google previewOxford American Large Print Dictionary (2008)

by Oxford University Press


Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Child Abuse (2007)

by Robin E. Clark, Judith Freeman Clark, Christine A. Adamec

Reasonable efforts to rehabilitate the parent have failed. • The parent has been convicted of • A crime of violence, as defined in § 14-101 of the Criminal Law article, against the child, another child of the family or any person who resides in the ...

Google previewThe Dictionary for Human Factors/Ergonomics (1992)

by James H. Stramler, Jr.

reflection law rehabilitate that surface or boundary; syn. coefficient of reflection reflection law see law of reflection reflectometer a photometer for measuring the reflectance of surfaces or materials reflex an innate biological stimulus-response ...

Google previewDictionary of Probation and Offender Management (2013)

by Rob Canton, David Hancock

Rehabilitate and resettle: to rehabilitate and resettle those offenders who have returned to the community and those who are serving sentences in the community and to encourage them to live offence-free lives. Under this strand, probation is ...

Google previewAdvanced Learners' Dictionary (1998)

by Martin H. Manser, Turton, Nigel D. Turton

rehabilitate (,ri:3'b[li, teit)vb1 restore to a state of good or improved health, condition, or behaviour: Attempts to rehabilitate the offenders proved useless. 2 reinstate, rehabilitation n ...

Google previewA Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms... (1898)

With an Appendix Embracing a Dictionary of Briticisms, Americanisms, Colloquial Phrases, Etc. ... by Bp. Samuel Fallows

Rehabilitate. Syn.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (2006)

by Melissa Hope Ditmore

Charity organisations are prone to rescue us and put us in 'safe' homes, developmental organisations are likely to rehabilitate' us through meagre income generation activities, and the police seem bent upon to regularly raid our quarters in the ...

Google previewRx.Dictionary Of Spoken Words (1989)

by Pustak Mahal Editorial Group

Rehabilitate (v.)jhvfcfyVsV iquokZflrdjuk The government was taking measures to rehabilitate the earthquake victims. Rehearse (v.) fjglZ iwokZH;kl djuk This is the second time we are going to rehearse the play. (n.) It will be the final rehearsal.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Clinical Psychology Set (2015)

by Robin L. Cautin, Scott O. Lilienfeld

The utilitarians believed that punishment was justified when it would make the future better for the offender (to rehabilitate) and/or society (to serve as a deterrent). Therefore ...

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Video about rehabilitate

Rehabilitate Meaning

Video shows what rehabilitate means. To restore (someone) to their former state, reputation, possessions, status etc.. To vindicate, to restore the reputation or ...

See also the pronunciation examples of rehabilitate!

Quotes about rehabilitate

We have to stop the propaganda, the shameful propaganda used by Kremlin to rehabilitate these old types. (Garry Kasparov)
more quotes about rehabilitate...

Scrabble value of R1E1H4A1B3I1L1I1T1A1T1E1

The value of this 12-letter word is 17 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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