re·​cur·​rence | \ ri-ˈkər-ən(t)s How to pronounce recurrence (audio) , -ˈkə-rən(t)s \
plural recurrences

Definition of recurrence

: a new occurrence of something that happened or appeared before : a repeated occurrence Scientists are working to lower the disease's rate of recurrence. Long-term drug therapy is associated with frequent recurrences and adverse effects, however.— Melvin M. Scheinman The hypoallergenic diet is restored until the itching and scratching again disappear, following which potential allergens from the original diet are restored sequentially, one by one, into the dog's meals and the owner looks for indications of the allergy's recurrence.— Tom Ewing As a familiar shape its exact meaning may have been lost to some of the craftsmen who used it; however, its recurrence on a whole group of gravestones in Davidson County, North Carolina, suggests an association there with hope, rebirth, and the cycle of life and death.— Jessie Poesch The shortage is a result of a decline in Treasury issuance as well as banks' strengthening their balance sheets in preparation for rules designed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis.— Peter Coy and Liz Capo McCormick

First Known Use of recurrence

1626, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for recurrence

Time Traveler

The first known use of recurrence was in 1626

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Cite this Entry

“Recurrence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for recurrence



English Language Learners Definition of recurrence

: a new occurrence of something that happened or appeared before


re·​cur·​rence | \ ri-ˈkər-əns \

Kids Definition of recurrence

: the state of occurring or appearing again or time after time


re·​cur·​rence | \ ri-ˈkər-ən(t)s, -ˈkə-rən(t)s How to pronounce recurrence (audio) \

Medical Definition of recurrence

1 : return of symptoms of a disease after a remission
2 : reappearance of a tumor after previous removal

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