re·​cur | \ ri-ˈkər How to pronounce recur (audio) \
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

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 Darrow said the shortage caused a 2% reduction in sales in the quarter ending Oct. 24, and said a similar hit could recur in the following quarter. Karen Ho, Quartz, "Americans are running out of high-end furniture to buy," 10 Dec. 2020 Violence and death recur with sickening regularity. The Economist, "Tales of the city The volatile history of Karachi," 6 Feb. 2021 The chords recur in the epilogue, as the aged Vere looks back on the central drama of his life. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Pushed to the Edge by “Beau Travail”," 20 Oct. 2020 But going forward, the parish needs to ensure that something like this doesn't recur. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer,, "St. Tammany site is out and Tangipahoa site is in for Medline expansion, company says," 23 Dec. 2020 The colors recur throughout their relationship, subtly coding them as different creatures even in their most intimate moments. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Promising Young Woman," 28 Dec. 2020 Such conjunctions recur every two decades due to their orbital periods. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Jupiter and Saturn ‘great conjunction’ awes world. Here’s how to see it," 22 Dec. 2020 Characters, too, recur throughout her novels, disappearing and reappearing like strands of bright thread, and Ms. Lurie maintained dossiers to keep track of them all. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Alison Lurie, Tart-Voiced Novelist of Manners, Dies at 94," 3 Dec. 2020 But Val Arkoosh, a physician who chairs the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, warned that if younger people transmit the virus to their elders, the deadly trend of spring could recur. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "COVID-19 cases surge but deaths don’t -- the reason? Age," 24 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about recur

Time Traveler for recur

Time Traveler

The first known use of recur was circa 1512

See more words from the same year

Statistics for recur

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for recur



English Language Learners Definition of recur

: to happen or appear again : to occur again


re·​cur | \ ri-ˈkər How to pronounce recur (audio) \
recurred; recurring

Kids Definition of recur

: to occur or appear again The fever recurred.
re·​cur | \ ri-ˈkər How to pronounce recur (audio) \
recurred; recurring

Medical Definition of recur

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on recur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recur

Nglish: Translation of recur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recur for Arabic Speakers

Comments on recur

What made you want to look up recur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!