recurrent

adjective
re·​cur·​rent | \ ri-ˈkər-ənt How to pronounce recurrent (audio) , -ˈkə-rənt \

Definition of recurrent

1 : running or turning back in a direction opposite to a former course used of various nerves and branches of vessels in the arms and legs
2 : returning or happening time after time recurrent complaints

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Other Words from recurrent

recurrently adverb

Recurrent vs. Recurring

Is there a difference between recurring and recurrent? As is so often the case with nearly identical words, the answer is "yes and no." Both words are most commonly used in the sense "happening time after time." But recurrent, the more commonly-used of the two, tends to appear more often in medical contexts, as in “recurrent fevers” or “recurrent cancer.” It also has a specialized anatomical sense, "running or turning back in a direction opposite to a former course,” as in “a recurrent artery,” that recurring does not share. There are certainly circumstances in which either recurrent or recurring could be used; pain or needs might be described as either recurrent or recurring. But even in such cases, there may be subtle differences which you may wish to pay attention to. Recurrent tends to suggest a coming back of something that has existed before, whereas recurring often implies simply a repeated occurrence.

Examples of recurrent in a Sentence

The loss of innocence is a recurrent theme in his stories. had recurrent problems with the computer for months and finally junked it
Recent Examples on the Web Third is a recurrent articulation of the principles of mutual respect and solidarity. Dan Banik, Quartz, "India is challenging China’s dominance in Africa through healthcare diplomacy," 29 Mar. 2021 The holding companies have stakes in four European utilities that will enhance the company’s recurrent cashflow from a sizable and high-quality portfolio of assets. Robert Olsen, Forbes, "Hong Kong’s Richest Person Sees Profit Drop Amid Pandemic Woes," 19 Mar. 2021 Recumbent or semi-recurrent brings you a less strenuous workout. Maren Estrada, BGR, "Build the home gym of your dreams with exercise machines under $250 each at Amazon," 18 Mar. 2021 And that’s exactly what Utah hoops had turned into — the recurrent slapping of thousands of foreheads due to a ho-hum endeavor, stirring the interest and imagination of a relative few. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Larry Krystkowiak is terminated at Utah, mediocrity shoving him out the door," 16 Mar. 2021 In a spectrum of Black artists who create, the salutations tend to have fallen short even after critique of the filmmaking industry and its recurrent oppressive lens. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, "One Producer Uses Social Media To Bring Photographers Of Color In Front Of The Lens," 10 Mar. 2021 For that same reason, people who have a history of recurrent UTIs or urinary tract abnormalities should avoid using Phexxi. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "The New Phexxi Birth Control Gel Ad Isn’t Great — But How’s The Actual Product?," 3 Mar. 2021 Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent, short episodes of high food consumption -- or binging -- often accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. Maria Morava And Aj Willingham, CNN, "More screen time is linked to binge eating in children, US study finds," 4 Mar. 2021 And then my mother got sick, spending months in the ICU in a South Miami hospital after a terrible year of recurrent pneumonia. Jaquira Díaz, Time, "I Avoided Facing My Mental Illness for Decades. The Pandemic Changed That," 3 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recurrent.' 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 recurrent

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recurrent

borrowed from Latin recurrent-, recurrens, present participle of recurrere "to run back, run in the opposite direction, return" — more at recur

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Time Traveler for recurrent

Time Traveler

The first known use of recurrent was in 1578

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Statistics for recurrent

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recurrent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recurrent. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for recurrent

recurrent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of recurrent

: happening or appearing again and again

recurrent

adjective
re·​cur·​rent | \ ri-ˈkər-ənt How to pronounce recurrent (audio) \

Kids Definition of recurrent

: happening or appearing again and again a recurrent infection

recurrent

adjective
re·​cur·​rent | \ -ˈkər-ənt, -ˈkə-rənt How to pronounce recurrent (audio) \

Medical Definition of recurrent

1 : running or turning back in a direction opposite to a former course used of various nerves and branches of vessels in the arms and legs
2 : returning or happening time after time recurrent pain

Other Words from recurrent

recurrently adverb

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Comments on recurrent

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