9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ree-kuhv-er] /riˈkʌv ər/
verb (used with object)
to cover again or anew.
Origin of re-cover
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English recoveren; see re-, cover
Can be confused
re-cover, recover.


[ri-kuhv-er] /rɪˈkʌv ər/
verb (used with object)
to get back or regain (something lost or taken away):
to recover a stolen watch.
to make up for or make good (loss, damage, etc., to oneself).
to regain the strength, composure, balance, or the like, of (oneself).
  1. to obtain by judgment in a court of law, or by legal proceedings:
    to recover damages for a wrong.
  2. to acquire title to through judicial process:
    to recover land.
to reclaim from a bad state, practice, etc.
to regain (a substance) in usable form, as from refuse material or from a waste product or by-product of manufacture; reclaim.
Military. to return (a weapon) to a previously held position in the manual of arms.
Football. to gain or regain possession of (a fumble):
They recovered the ball on their own 20-yard line.
verb (used without object)
to regain health after being sick, wounded, or the like (often followed by from):
to recover from an illness.
to regain a former and better state or condition:
The city soon recovered from the effects of the earthquake.
to regain one's strength, composure, balance, etc.
Law. to obtain a favorable judgment in a suit for something.
Football. to gain or regain possession of a fumble:
The Giants recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
to make a recovery in fencing or rowing.
1300-50; Middle English recoveren < Middle French recoverer < Latin recuperāre to regain, recuperate
Related forms
recoverer, noun
Can be confused
re-cover, recover.
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recover
  • But a lot of these parasites die inside the woolly bears, and the hosts recover in good health.
  • If conditions don't improve, they fail to recover their algae and eventually die.
  • To help let them recover, try these other tasty choices.
  • Also steer clear of lightweight or shriveled bulbs, since these may have lost too much moisture to recover well.
  • Bamboos usually recover well from snowfall, but it varies a lot by variety.
  • And then it would take decades for the turtle to recover after such a plan was implemented.
  • With new, turtle-excluding fishing nets and better protection of their nesting beaches, the species has begun to recover.
  • It's not exactly routine to recover genetic material from an extinct species, but there is a standard method.
  • Our expedition hoped to recover its remains, to no avail.
  • Eventually, they got her a room of her own where she could recover.
British Dictionary definitions for recover


(transitive) to find again or obtain the return of (something lost)
to regain (loss of money, position, time, etc); recoup
(of a person) to regain (health, spirits, composure, etc), as after illness, a setback, or a shock, etc
to regain (a former and usually better condition): industry recovered after the war
  1. (transitive) to gain (something) by the judgment of a court of law: to recover damages
  2. (intransitive) to succeed in a lawsuit
(transitive) to obtain (useful substances) from waste
(intransitive) (in fencing, swimming, rowing, etc) to make a recovery
Derived Forms
recoverable, adjective
recoverability, noun
recoverer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French recoverer, from Latin recuperārerecuperate


verb (transitive)
to cover again
to provide (a piece of furniture, book, etc) with a new cover
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for recover

c.1300, "to regain consciousness," from Anglo-French rekeverer (13c.), Old French recovrer "come back, return; regain health; procure, get again" (11c.), from Medieval Latin recuperare "to recover" (source of Spanish recobrar, Italian ricoverare; see recuperation). Meaning "to regain health or strength" is from early 14c.; sense of "to get (anything) back" is first attested mid-14c. Related: Recovered; recovering.



"to put a new cover on," c.1400, from re- "again" + cover (v.). Related: Re-covered; re-covering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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