from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act, process, duration, or an instance of recovering.
  • noun A return to a normal or healthy condition.
  • noun The act of obtaining usable substances from unusable sources.
  • idiom (in recovery) In the process of participating in a group or program providing treatment and support for a longstanding psychological or behavioral problem, such as abuse, addiction, grief, or trauma.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act or power of recovering, regaining, retaking, conquering again, or obtaining renewed possession: as, to offer a reward for the recovery of stolen goods.
  • noun Restoration from a bad to a good condition; especially, restoration from sickness, faintness, or the like; also, restoration from low condition or misfortune.
  • noun Attainment; reaching.
  • noun In law, the obtaining of right to something by a verdict or judgment of court from an opposing party in a suit: as, the recovery of debt, damages, and costs by a plaintiff; the recovery of costs by a defendant; the recovery of land in ejectment. Compare fine, n., 3.
  • noun In fencing, the return of the fencer to his original position “on guard” after extending himself in the lunge (which see).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of recovering, regaining, or retaking possession.
  • noun Restoration from sickness, weakness, faintness, or the like; restoration from a condition of mistortune, of fright, etc.
  • noun (Law) The obtaining in a suit at law of a right to something by a verdict and judgment of court.
  • noun obsolete The getting, or gaining, of something not previously had.
  • noun In rowing, the act of regaining the proper position for making a new stroke.
  • noun Act of regaining the natural position after curtseying.
  • noun (Fencing, Sparring, etc.) Act of regaining the position of guard after making an attack.
  • noun (Law) a species of common assurance or mode of conveying lands by matter of record, through the forms of an action at law, formerly in frequent use, but now abolished or obsolete, both in England and America.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act or process of regaining or repossession of something lost.
  • noun A return to normal health.
  • noun A return to former status.
  • noun Renewed growth after a slump (economy).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of regaining or saving something lost (or in danger of becoming lost)
  • noun return to an original state
  • noun gradual healing (through rest) after sickness or injury


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word recovery.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • State associated with not drinking or using drugs or ending some negative habit on purpose.

    June 29, 2008