Definition of rehabilitate in English:

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Pronunciation: /riːhəˈbɪlɪteɪt/


[with object]
1Restore (someone) to health or normal life by training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness: helping to rehabilitate former criminals
More example sentences
  • Steps should be taken to restore peace, rehabilitate the affected persons and to create confidence and sense of security among them.
  • Primary health care is a patient's first point of contact with the health-care system and includes promoting health, preventing disease, and treating and rehabilitating patients.
  • All the patients were rehabilitated according to a modern protocol, permitting immediate full weight bearing and full range of motion.
restore to health/normality, reintegrate, readapt, retrain
North American informal rehab
reinstate, reinstall, restore, bring back, re-establish;
pardon, absolve, exonerate, exculpate, forgive
1.1Restore (someone) to former privileges or reputation after a period of disfavour: with the fall of the government many former dissidents were rehabilitated
More example sentences
  • More recently the Victorian tycoon's reputation has been rehabilitated.
  • Some people might be asking is this an attempt for you to try to rehabilitate your reputation?
  • Reputations are rehabilitated or discredited.
1.2Return (something, especially a building or environmental feature) to its former condition: the campaign aims to rehabilitate the river’s flood plain
More example sentences
  • The military has even been called in to assist in environmental cleanup, promote wildlife conservation, rehabilitate public housing, rebuild bridges, and aid in other community projects.
  • In just five years' time, he's whittled down the amount he owes on a $150,000 loan, taken out to rehabilitate his first building, to $58,000.
  • The developer originally applied for tax credits for rehabilitating a historic building, but the credits came with a stipulation that the original plastered ceilings and walls be preserved.
recondition, restore, renew, renovate, refurbish, revamp, make over, make fit for habitation/use, overhaul, develop, redevelop, convert, rebuild, reconstruct, remodel;
redecorate, brighten up, freshen up, spruce up;
improve, upgrade, refit, fix up, re-equip;
modernize, update, bring up to date, bring into the twenty-first century;
North American  bring something up to code, rehab
informal do up



Pronunciation: /riːhəˈbɪlɪtətɪv/
Example sentences
  • He said one of the key objectives would be the prevention of diseases along with curative and rehabilitative service.
  • However, the physical presence of the mother is recommended as part of the rehabilitative efforts undertaken for the child, since it is believed that she is the best teacher, though she may not be technically qualified.
  • The persistent offender scheme is devised to catch, convict and provide effective rehabilitative support to these most prolific offenders.


Late 16th century (earlier (late 15th century) as rehabilitation) (in the sense 'restore to former privileges'): from medieval Latin rehabilitat-, from the verb rehabilitare (see re-, habilitate).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|habili|tate

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