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[ree-huh-bil-i-teyt, ree-uh-] /ˌri həˈbɪl ɪˌteɪt, ˌri ə-/
verb (used with object), rehabilitated, rehabilitating.
to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work, or the like.
to restore to good condition, operation, or management, as a bankrupt business.
to reestablish the good reputation of (a person, one's character or name, etc.).
to restore formally to former capacity, standing, rank, rights, or privileges.
verb (used without object), rehabilitated, rehabilitating.
to undergo rehabilitation.
Origin of rehabilitate
1570-80; < Medieval Latin rehabilitātus, past participle of rehabilitāre to restore. See re-, habilitate
Related forms
rehabilitation, noun
rehabilitative, adjective
rehabilitator, noun
nonrehabilitation, noun
nonrehabilitative, adjective
unrehabilitated, adjective
2. salvage, restore, recondition, reconstruct, refurbish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rehabilitation
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Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for rehabilitation


the act or process of rehabilitating
  1. the treatment of physical disabilities by massage, electrotherapy, or exercises
  2. (as modifier): rehabilitation centre


verb (transitive)
to help (a person who has acquired a disability or addiction or who has just been released from prison) to readapt to society or a new job, as by vocational guidance, retraining, or therapy
to restore to a former position or rank
to restore the good reputation of
Derived Forms
rehabilitative, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin rehabilitāre to restore, from re- + Latin habilitās skill, ability
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 rehabilitation

1530s, from Middle French réhabilitation and directly from Medieval Latin rehabilitationem (nominative rehabilitatio) "restoration," noun of action from past participle stem of rehabilitare, from re- "again" (see re-) + habitare "make fit," from Latin habilis "easily managed, fit" (see able). Specifically of criminals, addicts, etc., from 1940.



1570s, "to bring back to a former condition after decay or damage," back-formation from rehabilitation and in part from Medieval Latin rehabilitatus, past participle of rehabilitare. Meaning "to restore one's reputation or character in the eyes of others" is from 1847. Related: Rehabilitated; rehabilitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rehabilitation in Medicine

rehabilitate re·ha·bil·i·tate (rē'hə-bĭl'ĭ-tāt')
v. re·ha·bil·i·tat·ed, re·ha·bil·i·tat·ing, re·ha·bil·i·tates

  1. To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education.

  2. To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity.

re'ha·bil'i·ta'tion n.
re'ha·bil'i·ta'tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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rehabilitation in Culture

rehabilitation definition

In politics, the restoration to favor of a political leader whose views or actions were formerly considered unacceptable. (Compare nonperson.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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