Definition of rehearse in English:



  • 1 Practice (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’
    • ‘Then, at 2 o'clock, everyone else comes in, and we rehearse the ensemble music until 5 o'clock, sometimes six.’
    • ‘You rehearse the works for so long that you can explore the nuances and feel really at home in those ballets.’
    • ‘I am rehearsing the music every day because it has to blend well with the dialogues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One day the orchestra was rehearsing a commissioned work.’
    • ‘It was more like rehearsing a play but the rehearsal was being filmed.’
    • ‘A cast of 11 are currently rehearsing the play which was written in 1907 and was Mr Fitzmaurice's first and biggest commercial success.’
    • ‘They also visited the school where the play was rehearsed before the debut performance.’
    • ‘Lines were learned hurriedly - in some cases only half-learned - songs and music were rehearsed until vocal chords and fingers were sore.’
    • ‘I was in the middle of rehearsing a play here in Stratford.’
    • ‘Once the music has been rehearsed Charles then conducts a complete performance of the work.’
    • ‘Even though the team has started rehearsing the play, they are not sure where the money is to come from.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The actors have been rehearsing the play since after the Christmas break and are putting the finishing touches to their respective roles.’
    • ‘Saturday afternoon was spent at the dance school with Declan, rehearsing for the upcoming England National Dance Competition.’
    • ‘The company then rehearses a new work for next year.’
    • ‘It was bad news, though, to hear that this production gave itself under two weeks to cast and rehearse the two plays.’
    • ‘The Academy has a busy season ahead, rehearsing for performances in the Theatre Royal which will take place at the end of May, 2006.’
    • ‘She confessed that she did spend a lot of time practising for the competition and rehearsing her performances.’
    • ‘He would like to have a little more time to rehearse each play.’
    practise, have a practice session, prepare, have a trial performance, go through one's paces
    prepare, practise, try out, read through, sing through, walk through, run over, run through, go over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Supervise (a performer or group) that is practicing in this way.
      ‘he listened to Charlie rehearsing the band’
      • ‘Did you need a long time to rehearse your actors?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her sister Doris had been employed to rehearse a group of dancing girls for a road show.’
      • ‘On a break from rehearsing his touring band, making movies, recording his next album and taking care of his new son, Billy called.’
      • ‘Within months Donnellan was rehearsing dancers in his own Romeo and Juliet.’
    2. 1.2Mentally prepare or recite (words one intends to say)
      ‘he had rehearsed a thousand fine phrases’
      • ‘Thinking up answers and rehearsing them mentally, would give them a lot of confidence when going through the real event.’
      • ‘Tensing as they approached gradually, she mentally rehearsed her excuse in her head.’
      • ‘The words sounded rehearsed as though he had spoken them to himself too many times to count.’
      • ‘The speech might have sounded rehearsed in words, but in the tone of her voice, I felt that these words came from the heart.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She had rehearsed these words during the flight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He rehearsed again in his head the words ‘will you marry me?’’
      • ‘He had been prepared for this and even mentally rehearsed such activities.’
      • ‘His words were purely rehearsed but his smile seemed genuine.’
      • ‘Mentally rehearse difficult situations in which you imagine yourself as successful.’
      • ‘As she walking down the corridor, she rehearsed mentally the words she would say to him later.’
      • ‘He deliberately slowed down, so that he was several steps behind his friends and mentally rehearsed his speech for the umpteenth time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To me her words sounded slightly forced, almost as if she had rehearsed them beforehand.’
      • ‘Since my decision the night before I'd been mentally rehearsing my confession.’
      • ‘Mentally rehearse how you will deliver the news.’
      • ‘Mary said the words she had been rehearsing in her head for hours.’
      • ‘My voice is calm and even-toned, like I had rehearsed this confession a thousand times over.’
    3. 1.3State (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.’
      • ‘In a long judgment the judge carefully rehearsed the arguments on each side before dismissing the application.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The detail of what amounted to those reasonable precautions I have rehearsed already to your Honours.’
      • ‘I don't want to rehearse my criticisms of his tactics or the failures of his deplorable regime during the Oslo negotiations and thereafter.’
      • ‘I heartily agree and am consequently tempted to stop rehearsing the details of Beerbohm's life.’
      • ‘The arguments have already been well rehearsed against the teams jetting off to sunny climes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is not the place to rehearse in detail the enormous changes that modernity has brought to human life.’
      • ‘It is unnecessary to rehearse the details of the case against him.’
      • ‘I do not intend to rehearse every argument again in detail.’
      • ‘There's little need to rehearse the points in detail.’


Middle English (in the sense repeat aloud): from Old French rehercier, perhaps from re- again + hercer to harrow from herse harrow (see hearse).