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

Although producers announced in August that Kaitlyn would only be reprising her role on a recurring—not regular—basis, fans still missed her strong-willed character amongst the group. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's When Eve Will Finally Be Back on 'Last Man Standing'," 14 Dec. 2018 People talk about the services component, again recurring revenue. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 Lively, who has a history of matching her nails to her outfit, added a Swarovski crystal martini glass to her left ring finger/accent nail—an homage to the film itself, where a martini glass is a recurring symbol. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Blake Lively's Nail Art at the 'A Simple Favor' Premiere Had a Secret Reference to the Film," 12 Sep. 2018 Levi will recur as an eclectic Manhattan doctor who suddenly starts spending a lot of time with the Maisels and Weissmans, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 28 July 2018 The quest for connection with others is a recurring theme. Jill Lawless,, "Review: Florence + the Machine looks back with regret, hope," 29 June 2018 As noted above, the same problems recurred during that flight. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018 The Airbnb experience is a new thing, and a one-off for the chef (though many of the company's experiences around the world recur for those dealing with severe FOMO), who's dealing with a year bursting with new things. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "Chef Flynn McGarry Interview," 25 July 2018 In the letter released by the foreign ministry Monday, Prayuth said a full investigation is underway to find the cause of the tragedy and assured Xi his government is determined to ensure such incidents would not recur. Washington Post, "Thai official: 5 reported missing from sunken boat are alive," 9 July 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

8 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on recur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recur

Spanish Central: Translation of recur

Nglish: Translation of recur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recur for Arabic Speakers

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