In the dictionaries


2 [+ object] : to say or do (something) several times in order to practice

lawyers rehearsing their closing arguments

He rehearsed his dance moves in front of the mirror.

go over: to study something carefully, especially by repeating it

He went over the events of the day in his mind (= thought about them carefully).

It seems that both "rehearse" and "go over" both mean to repeat something several times to memorize something. But I am not sure these 2 words are equivalent in their meanings.

Are "You should rehearse the vocabularies from this lesson" and "You should go over the vocabularies from this lesson" similar?

Which one is more common in everyday English?

  • 'Review' has the same meaning as 'go over' and is very commonly used in the situation you're describing. Unlike 'rehearse' (as @KateBunting pointed out), 'review' doesn't have the unwanted connotation of anticipating something. So "You should review the vocabularies from this lesson" would have the same meaning as "You should go over the vocabularies from this lesson." I don't know which is used more often ('review' or 'go over'), but 'review' has a slightly more formal tone. May 6, 2023 at 6:40

1 Answer 1


I find the dictionary that you link to misleading, in that it treats the 'Definition 2' that you quote as being different from the 'rehearse a play' sense. You rehearse something that you are going to do, not something you have just learned. Oxford Languages (found by Googling 'rehearse definition') lists the sense mentally prepare or recite (words one intends to say) as a variant of the main definition, not a separate one.

So, no, you can't rehearse vocabulary you have just learned.

  • 1
    That is one of the problems of dictionaries. They sometimes do not give a clear nuance of words
    – Tom
    Jan 14, 2023 at 3:20

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