English edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

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 ...
    • 1736 March 16 (first performance; Gregorian calendar), Henry Fielding, Pasquin. A Dramatick Satire on the Times: [], London: [] J. Watts [], published 1736, →OCLC, Act I, page 1:
      I ſuppoſe vve ſhall hardly Rehearſe the Comedy this Morning; for the Author vvas Arreſted as he vvas going home from King's Coffee-houſe; and, as I heard, it vvas for upvvards of Four Pound: I ſuppoſe he vvill hardly get Bail.
  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

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