Definition of rehearse in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Practice (a play, piece of music, or other work) for later public performance.

    ‘we were rehearsing a play’
    no object ‘she was rehearsing for her world tour’
    • ‘It was more like rehearsing a play but the rehearsal was being filmed.’
    • ‘He would like to have a little more time to rehearse each play.’
    • ‘The actors have been rehearsing the play since after the Christmas break and are putting the finishing touches to their respective roles.’
    • ‘Never a group to stand still, the theatre company are currently rehearsing a new play to be launched next year and are also helping out a local charity in the process.’
    • ‘Lines were learned hurriedly - in some cases only half-learned - songs and music were rehearsed until vocal chords and fingers were sore.’
    • ‘I really love the creative process and when I lived in New York, I was always doing a play, rehearsing a play and auditioning for a play.’
    • ‘A cast of 11 are currently rehearsing the play which was written in 1907 and was Mr Fitzmaurice's first and biggest commercial success.’
    • ‘Once the music has been rehearsed Charles then conducts a complete performance of the work.’
    • ‘The Academy has a busy season ahead, rehearsing for performances in the Theatre Royal which will take place at the end of May, 2006.’
    • ‘Even though the team has started rehearsing the play, they are not sure where the money is to come from.’
    • ‘You rehearse the works for so long that you can explore the nuances and feel really at home in those ballets.’
    • ‘It was bad news, though, to hear that this production gave itself under two weeks to cast and rehearse the two plays.’
    • ‘The company then rehearses a new work for next year.’
    • ‘I am rehearsing the music every day because it has to blend well with the dialogues.’
    • ‘Saturday afternoon was spent at the dance school with Declan, rehearsing for the upcoming England National Dance Competition.’
    • ‘They also visited the school where the play was rehearsed before the debut performance.’
    • ‘I was in the middle of rehearsing a play here in Stratford.’
    • ‘One day the orchestra was rehearsing a commissioned work.’
    • ‘Then, at 2 o'clock, everyone else comes in, and we rehearse the ensemble music until 5 o'clock, sometimes six.’
    • ‘She confessed that she did spend a lot of time practising for the competition and rehearsing her performances.’
    prepare, practise, try out, read through, sing through, walk through, run over, run through, go over
    practise, have a practice session, prepare, have a trial performance, go through one's paces
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    1. 1.1 Supervise (a performer or group) that is practicing for later public performance.
      ‘he listened to Charlie rehearsing the band’
      • ‘Within months Donnellan was rehearsing dancers in his own Romeo and Juliet.’
      • ‘On a break from rehearsing his touring band, making movies, recording his next album and taking care of his new son, Billy called.’
      • ‘Her sister Doris had been employed to rehearse a group of dancing girls for a road show.’
      • ‘As the logistics of rehearsing a large group with electric instruments became increasingly difficult, Klein and Ford found themselves increasingly drawn to acoustic practices in the comfort of their living room.’
      • ‘Did you need a long time to rehearse your actors?’
      train, drill, prepare, coach, tutor, groom, put someone through their paces, teach, instruct, school, direct, guide, inculcate
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    2. 1.2 Mentally prepare or recite (words one intends to say)
      ‘he had rehearsed a thousand fine phrases’
      • ‘Mentally rehearse how you will deliver the news.’
      • ‘I wasn't sure I was really articulating my reasons properly, but it was the best I could do without having the chance to rehearse my words.’
      • ‘Tensing as they approached gradually, she mentally rehearsed her excuse in her head.’
      • ‘The speech might have sounded rehearsed in words, but in the tone of her voice, I felt that these words came from the heart.’
      • ‘As she walking down the corridor, she rehearsed mentally the words she would say to him later.’
      • ‘There was something about her calm, cool demeanour and the way her words sounded like they had been rehearsed and perfected which rendered Jack speechless.’
      • ‘He rehearsed again in his head the words ‘will you marry me?’’
      • ‘Mentally rehearse difficult situations in which you imagine yourself as successful.’
      • ‘Thinking up answers and rehearsing them mentally, would give them a lot of confidence when going through the real event.’
      • ‘Nervousness set in and the words he had rehearsed over and over in his head for months escaped his brain completely, rendering him a stuttering mess.’
      • ‘The words sounded rehearsed as though he had spoken them to himself too many times to count.’
      • ‘He deliberately slowed down, so that he was several steps behind his friends and mentally rehearsed his speech for the umpteenth time.’
      • ‘My voice is calm and even-toned, like I had rehearsed this confession a thousand times over.’
      • ‘She had rehearsed these words during the flight.’
      • ‘He had been prepared for this and even mentally rehearsed such activities.’
      • ‘She had told herself a thousand times, while rehearsing her lines in front of her bathroom mirror - and that had been since two days ago - that this was for the better, that she would, in fact, benefit from what she was going to do.’
      • ‘To me her words sounded slightly forced, almost as if she had rehearsed them beforehand.’
      • ‘His words were purely rehearsed but his smile seemed genuine.’
      • ‘Mary said the words she had been rehearsing in her head for hours.’
      • ‘Since my decision the night before I'd been mentally rehearsing my confession.’
    3. 1.3 State (a list of points, especially those that have been made many times before); enumerate.
      ‘criticisms of factory farming have been rehearsed often enough’
      • ‘I need not rehearse the detail of each such attempt, but I refer to one which is independently verified as an example of what has occurred.’
      • ‘There's little need to rehearse the points in detail.’
      • ‘I do not intend to rehearse every argument again in detail.’
      • ‘I don't want to rehearse my criticisms of his tactics or the failures of his deplorable regime during the Oslo negotiations and thereafter.’
      • ‘The arguments have already been well rehearsed against the teams jetting off to sunny climes.’
      • ‘In a long judgment the judge carefully rehearsed the arguments on each side before dismissing the application.’
      • ‘This is not the place to rehearse in detail the enormous changes that modernity has brought to human life.’
      • ‘I heartily agree and am consequently tempted to stop rehearsing the details of Beerbohm's life.’
      • ‘The detail of what amounted to those reasonable precautions I have rehearsed already to your Honours.’
      • ‘My Lord, I do not propose to rehearse the arguments that were put forward by Mr Kovats and, indeed, that your Lordship has considered in the judgment.’
      • ‘My Lord, I do not propose to rehearse the arguments again.’
      • ‘I do not propose to rehearse in detail all those matters which I have identified earlier in this judgment as tending to the rejection of the Applications.’
      • ‘It is unnecessary to rehearse the details of the case against him.’
      enumerate, list, itemize, detail, spell out, set out, present, specify, name, give, describe, delineate, catalogue, recite, rattle off
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Middle English (in the sense ‘repeat aloud’): from Old French rehercier, perhaps from re- ‘again’ + hercer ‘to harrow’, from herse ‘harrow’ (see hearse).