re·​cur·​rence ri-ˈkər-ən(t)s How to pronounce recurrence (audio)
plural recurrences
: 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

Examples of recurrence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Engineers expect this change will prevent the recurrence of damage to the pad observed during the first Starship launch, which blasted away blocks of concrete from beneath the launch mount and spread the debris across hundreds of acres. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2023 The German government is very strong in seeking to prevent any recurrence of antisemitism in German society. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2023 The medicine reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 76% compared to chemotherapy for early forms of the disease, new Phase 3 presented at ESMO show. Meghana Keshavan, STAT, 23 Oct. 2023 The architects and artist exchanged images of rooms by the midcentury Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, which partially inspired the recurrence of simple materials like white oak and cork throughout the house. Alice Newell-Hanson, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 While a cystectomy, or cyst removal, is usually effective, there is a high rate of recurrence. Scott Sundick, Verywell Health, 25 June 2023 Somers revealed earlier this year that she was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer after she’d previously been diagnosed with the disease in the early 2000s. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Oct. 2023 Earlier in the year, Somers revealed that she was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer after previously battling the disease in 2000. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 16 Oct. 2023 In July, Somers revealed a recurrence of breast cancer. Alli Rosenbloom, CNN, 15 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recurrence.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recurrence was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near recurrence

Cite this Entry

“Recurrence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


: return of symptoms of a disease after a remission
: reappearance of a tumor after previous removal
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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