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

Climate change is causing stronger and more erratic rainfall with recurrent floods in low-lying areas while population growth is putting more people in risky areas. Gayathri D Naik, Quartz India, "India, leave those forests on the mountains alone, lest you want to drown," 13 Sep. 2019 The treatment was administered in a trial conducted with 403 patients who were undergoing surgery for recurrent high grade glioma, an especially deadly form of brain cancer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brain cancer drug from San Diego’s Tocagen fails late-stage testing, shares dive," 12 Sep. 2019 Symptoms may present as anemia, bleeding or bruising, bone and joint pain, recurrent fevers or infections, abdominal pain, swollen lymph nodes or difficulty breathing. Fox News, "Mom's raw post on childhood cancer goes viral: 'It affects the entire family'," 10 Sep. 2019 On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Richmond’s OakBend Medical Center receives achievement award," 23 Aug. 2019 In reality, every year an estimated 445,000 U.S. women 35 and older will experience a new heart attack, recurrent heart attack, or fatal outcome of coronary heart disease (which, in addition to heart attack, can cause issues like heart failure). Natasha Lavender, SELF, "Meet SCAD, a Major Cause of Heart Attacks in Women 50 and Under," 22 Aug. 2019 The Welshman is expected to be out of action until October, whilst summer signing Arnaut Danjuma will likely face a late fitness test for a recurrent foot injury. SI.com, "Aston Villa vs Bournemouth: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 14 Aug. 2019 The years went by, and talk of how much money Manafort was making in Ukraine had become a recurrent topic in Washington in those days. Sam Patten, WIRED, "Kostya and Me: How Sam Patten Got Ensnared in Mueller’s Probe," 14 Aug. 2019 Hotter European summers and more frequent and recurrent heat waves have spawned a proliferation of wildfires around Europe. Raphael Minder, BostonGlobe.com, "Portugal turns to goats as its wildfires get baaaad," 17 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for recurrent

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recurrent

The first known use of recurrent was in 1578

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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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