Definition of rehab in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A course of treatment for drug or alcohol dependence, typically at a residential facility:

    ‘the star has been in rehab for a week’
    ‘Mark went into rehab two years ago’
    • ‘I don't think I could have lived the rest of my life clean without the rehab I went through.’
    • ‘The rehab was intense, but once I was home, I was back on-line.’
  • 2US A building that has been rehabilitated or restored:

    ‘a homeowner who discovers his rehab straddles the San Andreas fault’
    • ‘A contractor friend of ours who is now doing some rehab work in the house is telling us that the bedroom window is not legal.’
    • ‘With air quality issues in restaurants among the many legislative battles operators face in the coming decade, dropping by the site before any rehabs, redesigns or openings seems like a wise move.’
    • ‘A walk east of Tompkins Square Park reveals new businesses, new buildings, and rehabs fast replacing empty lots and former crack houses.’
    repair, repairing, fixing, mending, refurbishment, reconditioning, rehabilitation, rebuilding, reconstruction, remodelling, redecoration, revamping, revamp, makeover, overhaul
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  • 3Australian NZ often the Rehabhistorical [mass noun] Financial assistance provided by the Rehabilitation Department, established to support returned servicemen after the Second World War:

    ‘he'd had to bum around for a few years before approaching the Rehab’
    [as modifier] ‘we were able to get a Rehab loan at three per cent’
    • ‘Rehab had a little trouble in finding him a suitable job.’
    • ‘I can even apply for my rehab and crash out on my own.’
    • ‘The Rehab people were sympathetic to my request.’
    • ‘We lived on a rehab place, miles from town up a metal road.’
    • ‘I was living in Christchurch at different times, on Rehab for a while.’
    • ‘He'd never really thought of himself as a soldier or an ex-soldier even though he'd had two years of it before eventually going farming on rehab money.’


[WITH OBJECT]North American
  • Rehabilitate or restore:

    ‘they don't rehab you at all in jail’
    ‘newly rehabbed apartments for rent’
    • ‘Glass-fiber reinforced concrete is frequently used for building facades - especially for rehabbing.’
    • ‘While many of Shaw's grand old homes and classic row houses have been rehabbed, the Woodson home, whose condition worsens by the day, awaits rescue.’
    • ‘I bought the buildings and rehabbed them one by one.’
    • ‘For instance, after twenty-five years, people in the Mattole River watershed have put in countless volunteer hours and rehabbed an elegant small river.’
    • ‘There is a stone outbuilding next door in the process of being rehabbed.’
    • ‘She was already rehabbing a Manhattan town house.’
    • ‘After surgery March 2, Wilson immediately began rehabbing, riding a stationary bike and doing exercises to maintain his core strength.’
    • ‘Have you had cases where a swimmer was unable to use his arms while rehabbing from injury and was only able to kick?’
    • ‘The fact that he has rehabbed the fracture in his neck is not especially noteworthy - there wasn't much choice in that matter.’
    • ‘My wrist is healed - they took the pins out - and I rehabbed it real hard before I began driving.’
    • ‘The kitchen cabinets are rehabbed lockers used by factory workers.’
    • ‘On his block, old housing was rehabbed, new housing was built.’
    • ‘Blocks and blocks of homes are being rehabbed and spiffed up, which is breathing life into many once-forlorn districts of the city.’
    • ‘When I was rehabbing my knees, I worked on my upper body.’
    • ‘He bought a one-story warehouse in 1986 and rehabbed it for office use.’
    • ‘We decide to rehab this patch-worked apartment overlooking the Common.’
    • ‘We have rehabbed 1,600 schools since the war ended, so to speak.’
    • ‘Well, Boone has been quietly rehabbing and hopes to be back by September.’
    • ‘After moving in, they plotted a seven-year remodeling plan, working on their own house in between Pick's jobs rehabbing a growing list of clients' homes.’
    • ‘He's been rehabbing it for several weeks now and it looks like he stands to make a full recovery.’
    restore to health, restore to normality, reintegrate, readapt, retrain
    recondition, restore, renew, renovate, refurbish, revamp, make over, make fit for habitation, make fit for use, overhaul, develop, redevelop, convert, rebuild, reconstruct, remodel
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1940s: abbreviation of rehabilitate and rehabilitation.