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

One mom friend told me she had a recurring dream that her baby was lost in the bed, suffocating under the covers. Merritt Watts, Glamour, "New Mom Nightmares: The Common Postpartum Symptom Nobody Talks About," 13 Sep. 2018 But if the polling is any guide, this recurring geographic fault line could end up defining the party’s 2018 Senate primary, which will be held Aug. 14. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP senate primary in Wisconsin already reflects north-south divide within party," 13 July 2018 Meanwhile Tiffany Haddish’s guest appearance on SNL and Wanda Sykes' recurring guest role on black-ish got them both nominations for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series., "Issa Rae Finally Got An Emmy Nod & I Can't Stop Crying," 12 July 2018 The trailer shows Pena as a working-class father who suffers from recurring dreams of destruction by an unknown force. Jillian Forstadt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Michael Pena Fights Aliens in Trailer for Netflix's 'Extinction'," 11 July 2018 Croatian soccer has been long linked with far-right factors, and the country has faced previous punishment for some fans’ recurring habit of making monkey chants at black opposition players during games. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Croatian soccer finds itself involved in another two-faced controversy," 9 July 2018 The program is $30 per week with recurring payments. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Pick up fresh produce at Sienna Plantation," 5 July 2018 And who is the dripping wet figure in the corner of his recurring dream? Christine Heppermann,, "A complex mystery challenges readers to consider marginalized kids — plus more Y.A. reviews," 18 June 2018 In this recurring dream, Rollerson comes off the bench to help save the day. Mike Jensen,, "Former Temple big man Ron Rollerson, having lost a leg, finds a new sport," 24 May 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

12 Nov 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

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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