re·cur | \ri-ˈkər \
recurred; recurring

Definition of recur 

intransitive verb

1 : to have recourse : resort

2 : to go back in thought or discourse on recurring to my letters of that date— Thomas Jefferson

3a : to come up again for consideration

b : to come again to mind

4 : to occur again after an interval : occur time after time the cancer recurred

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Other Words from recur

recurrence \ri-ˈkər-ən(t)s, -ˈkə-rən(t)s \ noun

Examples of recur in a Sentence

There is only a slight chance that the disease will recur. The same problem keeps recurring.

Recent Examples on the Web

This story fits into the recurring pattern of Trump blurring the line between between private and public. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Has Trump turned Air Force One into a perk for Mar-a-Lago members?," 9 July 2018 If untreated, the illness may last more than a month and could continue over a recurring cycle, health officials said. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cyclospora illness outbreak tied to Kwik Trip vegetable trays grows in Wisconsin and Minnesota," 15 June 2018 The most important and the trickiest climate condition to keep an eye on is El Niño, a recurring weather pattern that brings warm waters to the tropical Pacific Ocean. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "Why we can’t predict how destructive a hurricane season will be," 1 June 2018 During this full moon, unexpected correspondence from old friends, recurring patterns or symbols, and encounters with small animals will all have major significance. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What June's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 29 May 2018 Financial crises follow recurring patterns International financial crises occur on approximately 10- to 15-year cycles, as tight regulations put in place in the aftermath of crisis are typically rolled back or eroded by financial innovations. Christopher Mitchell, Washington Post, "Congress is about to loosen the reins on the banking industry. Here’s why.," 21 May 2018 Throughout Sunday’s Fear, blue bonnets were a recurring motif. Laura Bradley, HWD, "Fear the Walking Dead," 30 Apr. 2018 On top of that, Amazon sells just about everything else consumers desire, while its cloud-computing business guarantees stable, recurring revenue. The Economist, "Big tech is growing, but so is investors’ caution," 26 Apr. 2018 But after the trough and weak storm passes, the recurring trough-ridge pattern ceases, and conditions and temperatures begin to stabilize. Robert Krier,, "Light rain expected, but see-saw weather may be coming to an end," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recur

circa 1512, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recur

borrowed from Latin recurrere "to run back, return, have recourse (to)," from re- re- + currere "to run" — more at current entry 1

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Statistics for recur

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recur

The first known use of recur was circa 1512

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More Definitions for recur



English Language Learners Definition of recur

: to happen or appear again : to occur again


re·cur | \ri-ˈkər \
recurred; recurring

Kids Definition of recur

: to occur or appear again The fever recurred.

re·cur | \ri-ˈkər \
recurred; recurring

Medical Definition of recur 

: to occur again after an interval a disease likely to recur

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Comments on recur

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