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1 : to restore to a former capacity
: to restore credibility to (a witness or testimony) [the State simply brought out all of the prior statements to qualify or explain the inconsistency and to the witness "People v. Page, 550 N.E.2d 248 (1990)"] compare impeach NOTE: A witness whose trial testimony is inconsistent with his or her pretrial usually sworn statements is considered impeached. Such a witness may be rehabilitated usually on redirect examination. There are various state and federal evidentiary rules governing what evidence (as character evidence) is admissible to rehabilitate a witness.
2 a : to restore to a former state (as of good repair or solvency) [if the debtor wishes to liquidate rather than reorganize or the farming operation "J. H. Williamson"]
b : to restore (as a convicted criminal defendant) to a useful and constructive place in society through therapy, job training, and other counseling
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.