recurrent

adjective re·cur·rent \ ri-ˈkər-ənt , -ˈkə-rənt \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

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

recurrently

adverb

Examples of recurrent in a Sentence

  1. The loss of innocence is a recurrent theme in his stories.

  2. had recurrent problems with the computer for months and finally junked it

Recent Examples of recurrent from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of recurrent

Latin recurrent-, recurrens, present participle of recurrere


RECURRENT Defined for English Language Learners

recurrent

Definition of recurrent for English Language Learners

  • : happening or appearing again and again


RECURRENT Defined for Kids

recurrent

adjective re·cur·rent \ ri-ˈkər-ənt \

Definition of recurrent for Students

: happening or appearing again and again
  • a recurrent infection

Medical Dictionary

recurrent

adjective re·cur·rent \ -ˈkər-ənt, -ˈkə-rənt \

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

recurrently

adverb


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