1. Recover, reclaim, retrieve are to regain literally or figuratively something or someone. To recover is to obtain again what one has lost possession of: to recover a stolen jewel. To reclaim is to bring back from error or wrongdoing, or from a rude or undeveloped state: to reclaim desert land by irrigation. To retrieve is to bring back or restore, especially something to its former, prosperous state: to retrieve one's fortune. 9. heal, mend, recuperate; rally.