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From Middle English rehersen, from Anglo-Norman reherser (to repeat word-for-word).



rehearse (third-person singular simple present rehearses, present participle rehearsing, simple past and past participle rehearsed)

  1. (transitive) To repeat, as what has been already said; to tell over again; to recite.
    There’s no need to rehearse the same old argument; we’ve heard it before, and we all agree.
  2. (transitive) To narrate; to relate; to tell.
    The witness rehearsed the events of the night before for the listening detectives.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To practise by recitation or repetition in private for experiment and improvement, prior to a public representation, especially in theater
    The main actors spent on average two hours a day rehearsing before the first night.
    The lawyer advised her client to rehearse her testimony before the trial date.
    • 1648, Robert Herrick, “When he would have his verses read”, in Hesperides:
      In sober mornings, do not thou reherse
      The holy incantation of a verse ...
  4. (transitive, theater) To cause to rehearse; to instruct by rehearsal.
    The director rehearsed the cast incessantly in the days leading up to opening night, and as a result they were tired and cranky when it arrived.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, “Darkness”, in A Tale of Two Cities, London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, book III (The Track of a Storm), page 231:
      He [] has been rehearsed by Madame Defarge as to his having seen Her []
    • 1916 March 11, Charles E. Van Loan, “His Folks”, in Saturday Evening Post[1]:
      It was plain that he'd been rehearsed a lot, but he wasn't letter-perfect by any manner of means.
  5. To contrive and carefully prepare (a story, etc.) to offer consistency.
    The Crown argued that the accused had rehearsed her story.

Derived terms[edit]