Definition of convalescent in English:



  • 1(of a person) recovering from an illness or medical treatment.

    ‘a convalescent child’
    ‘you're still convalescent and you need to rest’
    • ‘As I'm still convalescent, we are not planning to act on this until early 2005.’
    • ‘The virus is present in the exhaled air, secretions and faeces of infected birds, both before they show signs of illness and while they are convalescent.’
    • ‘In Blue Kettle, we get a young con man and his convalescent girlfriend (pajamas become her).’
    • ‘After the Boer War broke out in South Africa in 1899, the Rhuoma spent a year off Cape Town as a hospital ship and sailed home to Rum with a complement of convalescent soldiers who were the first guests at the newly-completed Kinloch Castle.’
    • ‘In England, porter, originally the beer favoured by porters at the market, became the health drink of the Victorians, often prescribed by doctors for convalescent ladies.’
    • ‘In September 1919 the Canadian government sold the hospital to the British Ministry of Pensions, which used it for the care and treatment of convalescent disabled soldiers between the wars.’
    • ‘Undaunted Seacole funded her own trip to the Crimea where she established the British Hotel near Balaclava to provide ‘a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers’.’
    • ‘The mother shells an egg, in silent and thankful concentration, for her convalescent child.’
    • ‘Here visitors wait and convalescent patients meet, but it also conveys a more general suggestion of hospitality.’
    recuperating, recovering, getting better, on the road to recovery, improving, making progress
    on the mend
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[attributive]Relating to convalescence.
      ‘a convalescent home’
      • ‘Western Montana residents needed a hospital that could provide medical and convalescent care.’
      • ‘Depending on the coverage you choose, you are eligible to receive up to $2,000,000 to cover extraordinary hospital, medical, surgical, and convalescent bills.’
      • ‘In Europe, where national healthcare plans cover most residents, physicians routinely prescribe spa visits - in some cases up to a four-week stay - for preventive medicine and convalescent care.’
      • ‘Only recovering patients that are medically stable, generally leading convalescent care, are eligible.’
      • ‘These would have no accident and emergency services and would largely provide day surgery and convalescent care.’
      • ‘Treatment and convalescent regimes meant that the vast majority of cases could be returned to duty, but not all to front-line service.’
      • ‘Indeed the oncologist recommended I take convalescent leave during this period.’
      • ‘This raises issues of adequate pain control during the hospital and convalescent phase of illness.’
      • ‘They frankly get better convalescent care at either place than they would at an acute care hospital where the nursing routine is constantly interrupted by sick patients' acute needs.’
      • ‘Between 1950 and 1956, 300,000 women received treatment in convalescent homes, with over half coming from the lower or lower-middle classes.’
      • ‘It will feature a 40-bed hospital as well as a 104-bed nursing home, diagnostic centre, sports injury clinic and convalescent homes.’
      • ‘Take a trip to a convalescent hospital to visit the residents.’
      • ‘The financial effects of disability can be profound, because living expenses continue to accrue and may actually increase during the convalescent period.’
      • ‘When Jane was about fifteen, Dad fell seriously ill and entered a convalescent hospital.’
      • ‘Forty-eight cases were admitted from nursing homes or convalescent care facilities.’
      • ‘Those working in convalescent hospitals, away from the front lines, also suffered the deprivations of war.’
      • ‘This includes a mental hospital, sanatorium, convalescent home, nursing home, maternity home, clinic and health centre.’
      • ‘The table shows the results of blood tests performed during the acute and convalescent stages of the illness.’
      • ‘However, both features occur in the convalescent phase when the coronary aneurysms develop and should never be relied on to aid the diagnosis.’
      • ‘During the convalescent or recovery phase there is a gradual decrease of cough until it disappears completely.’


  • A person who is recovering after an illness or medical treatment.

    ‘convalescents benefit from relaxation’
    • ‘The divisions facing the 22nd Infantry consisted largely of old men, young boys, military and security detachments, and convalescents.’
    • ‘Furthermore, as an herbal tea, lavender ‘is also good as a morning tonic for convalescents, as a digestive after meals, for rheumatic conditions, and at the first appearance of a cold or flu.’’
    • ‘It started with visits of convalescents like Tobias Smollett, devastated by the loss of a teenage daughter, and heading down to Nice in the spring of 1763.’
    • ‘Recall the case of the convalescents in the hospital ward.’
    • ‘This garlic bouillon was classically made the day after a fête, being excellent for hangovers as well as soothing for convalescents.’
    • ‘The hospital was built as a three-story block under a low pitched, tile roof with a perpendicular wing facing the river, where porches provided convalescents with fresh air and room for exercise.’
    • ‘Working with Lady Drumond of the Canadian Red Cross, the educators produced a comfort bag for each convalescent.’
    • ‘Oatmeal becomes infested with insects so readily that it cannot be considered reliable either, but it seemed shameful to complain when the convalescents ate the same food at the same table.’
    • ‘Two of the three convalescents were on horseback; the other, despite his injuries and weakness, insisted on walking.’
    • ‘Their white colour and delicate texture have conspired to give them a reputation as a food for invalids or convalescents.’
    • ‘Broth is traditionally on the menu for convalescents.’
    • ‘Hope is the bridge from this age, in which God has given the saints the medicine for their cure, to that coming age in which they no longer will be convalescents.’
    • ‘But each district of Rome had a hospital, and there were hospitals for pilgrims, lying-in hospitals, hospitals for convalescents.’
    • ‘He would rather be judged as a professional footballer than by the forgiving standards of a convalescent.’
    • ‘Men on detached service and convalescents in hospitals were sent home to help.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin convalescent- growing strong, recovering, from the verb convalescere (see convalesce).