General English

General Science

  • verb to return to a more usual condition
  • verb to obtain metals or other useful materials from waste by separating and purifying it


  • verb to get back something which has been lost



  • To reset or otherwise re-establish a former state or condition, a given operational state, or a given level or value.
  • To recover (1) after an error or malfunction.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to replace a cover on a document or book which has been damaged


  • verb to get better after an illness, operation or accident


  • verb to become healthy after illness or injury
  • verb to collect a damaged or broken-down vehicle and bring it back for repair

Origin & History of “recover”

Recover and recuperate (16th c.) are ultimately the same word. both come from Latin recuperāre ‘recover, regain’, a compound verb based on the stem cup- ‘take’ (a variant of which produced capere ‘take’, source of English captive, capture, etc). Recuperate itself was acquired directly from the Latin verb’s past participle, whereas recover was routed via Old French recoverer. (Re-cover ‘cover again’, spelled similarly but pronounced differently, also dates from the 14th century.).