Definition of recover in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈkʌvə/


1 [no object] Return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength: Neil is still recovering from shock the economy has begun to recover
More example sentences
  • The walks will be suitable for everyone, and especially for those who take little exercise or are recovering from health problems.
  • After his health recovered he returned to Oxford and in 1849 was awarded a double first in mathematics and classics.
  • As for Sally, she recovered and soon returned to her old self, never again mentioning what had happened.
recuperate, get better, get well, convalesce, regain one's strength, regain one's health, get stronger, get back on one's feet, feel oneself again, get back to normal, return to health;
be on the mend, be on the road to recovery, pick up, rally, respond to treatment, make progress, improve, heal, take a turn for the better, turn the corner, get out of the woods, get over something, shake something off, pull through, bounce back, revive;
British  pull round
informal perk up
1.1 (be recovered) (Of a person) be well again: you’ll be fully recovered before you know it
More example sentences
  • I’m glad to know you are fully recovered and look forward to our paths crossing soon.
  • Why are patients discharged from hospitals before they are fully recovered?
  • He said he expected to be back in training in two weeks and be fully recovered in six weeks.
2 [with object] Find or regain possession of (something stolen or lost): police recovered a stolen video
More example sentences
  • In addition to the vandalism, some stolen property was recovered from one of the three men.
  • Data recovery efforts are, therefore, required to recover the lost transactions and data.
  • The bill will make it harder for criminals to dispose of stolen goods, and it will make it easier for the police to recover stolen goods and solve property crimes.
retrieve, regain (possession of), get back, win back, take back, recoup, reclaim, repossess, recapture, retake, redeem;
find (again), track down, trace;
claw back;
Law  replevin, replevy
rare recuperate
salvage, save, rescue, retrieve, reclaim, redeem
2.1Regain control of (oneself or of a physical or mental state): he recovered his balance and sped on
More example sentences
  • When Maisie had recovered herself, she said, ‘You will inform the priest, of course.’
  • It took a moment for John to recover himself after saying this.
  • She licked her lips nervously before recovering herself.
pull oneself together, regain one's composure/self-control, regain control of oneself, take a hold of oneself, steady oneself
informal get a grip (on oneself), get one's act together, snap out of it
2.2Regain or secure (money spent or lost or compensation) by legal process or the making of profits: many companies recovered their costs within six months
More example sentences
  • Furthermore the fact that the repair work has been carried out will mean that you may not be able to recover the legal costs incurred in recovering compensation.
  • Under the mortgage, the mortgagee is entitled to recover her legal fees as between solicitor and client.
  • The law allowing plaintiffs to recover legal fees in advocacy lawsuits has been on the books for a long time.
2.3Make up for (a loss in position or time): the French recovered the lead
More example sentences
  • Scrambling to recover lost ground, the leader of the troubled organization said last weekend that if he had evidence about the killing he'd give it in court.
  • They argue that this is the only way in which the Tories can recover lost support.
  • This bipartisanship allowed Howard to recover sufficient electoral support to retain office for a third term.
rally, improve, pick up, make a recovery, rebound, bounce back, come back, make a comeback
3Remove or extract (an energy source or industrial chemical) for use, reuse, or waste treatment: only 13 per cent of CFC refrigerant was being recovered from domestic fridges
More example sentences
  • When alkyl hydrogen sulfates are added to water, sulfuric acid is recovered and the product obtained from the alkene is an alcohol.
  • Secondary alcohols can be readily recovered from ketones by breaking the double bond between the oxygen and carbon and adding hydrogen.
  • What about treatment of minerals recovered from the land?


(the recover)
A defined position of a firearm forming part of a military drill: bring the firelock to the recover
More example sentences
  • Today some of the motions of the salute have been omitted; the ‘Recover’ is, however, still symbolic of kissing a Cross.
  • Come to the recover, throwing up your firelock, with a smart spring of the left hand, directly before the left breast, and turning the barrel inwards; at that moment catch it with the right hand below the lock, and instantly bringing up the left hand, with a rapid motion, seize the piece close above the lock, the little finger touching the feather-spring; the left hand to be at an equal height with the eyes, the butt of the firelock close to the left breast, but not pressed, and the barrel perpendicular.



Example sentences
  • She is one of eleven women who joined an eight-week program at the Royal Brisbane Hospital aimed at improving the fitness and well-being of breast cancer recoverers.
  • From the grant money, a new group will be set up in Runnymede and Elmbridge to support stroke recoverers with communication difficulties.
  • I thought I knew a lot about the subject after being one of the 57-59% of recoverers of the disorders.


Middle English (originally with reference to health): from Anglo-Norman French recoverer, from Latin recuperare 'get again'.

  • This was originally with reference to health, with the modern sense appearing soon after. It comes from Anglo-Norman French recoverer, from Latin recuperare ‘get again’, from which the similar recuperate (mid 16th century) was taken directly.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|cover

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