re·​cur·​sive | \ ri-ˈkər-siv How to pronounce recursive (audio) \

Definition of recursive

1 : of, relating to, or involving recursion a recursive function in a computer program
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a procedure that can repeat itself indefinitely a recursive rule in a grammar

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Other Words from recursive

recursively adverb
recursiveness noun

Examples of recursive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The script's backdoor code, as Wardle noted, is a recursive Python command-line call with a hard-coded IP address for the connection that uses port 1337—an obvious leetspeak joke. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Really dumb malware targets cryptocurrency fans using Macs," 3 July 2018 The most thrilling thing about An Homage to Hollis Benton is its recursive nature. Andrea Alonso, Los Angeles Magazine, "Fact and Fiction Collide Inside an Exhibit Inspired by a “Forgotten” L.A. Legend—and Beverly Hills Cop," 12 June 2018 Kavan offers up a recursive system, an index of reaction points as unsettling and neatly tailored as a sheaf of Rorschach blots. New York Times, "Jonathan Lethem on the Cool Disturbances of Anna Kavan’s ‘Ice’," 27 Oct. 2017 And at times some repetition across the essays creates frustration rather than the recursive meditation that may have been intended. Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, "Amy Tan mines painful 'Past' in moving new memoir," 16 Oct. 2017 His latest book, the hybrid lyric/photo essay Blind Spot, is possibly the most stunning instance of Cole’s recursive tendencies. Ismail Muhammad, Slate Magazine, "Teju Cole’s new book of photography and essays feels like the fulfillment of an intellectual project that has defined most of his career.," 15 June 2017 That’s the recursive, complicated, and often vexing relationship many people have with the concept of vacation. Julie Williamson, Fortune, "How to Take a Better Working Vacation Than Donald Trump Did," 20 Aug. 2017 Intertwined with that slow-moving, recursive narrative are sections that skip and leap across the dynamic history of his family and his tribe. The Washington Post,, "Sherman Alexie's memoir about his mother is a masterpiece about pain," 30 July 2017 The alternative to Mishra’s view might be that the dynamic of cosmopolitanism and nostalgic reaction is permanent and recursive. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History?," 20 Mar. 2017

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

1934, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recursive

earlier, "recurring repeatedly," from Latin recursus, past participle of recurrere "to run back, run in the opposite direction, return" + -ive; in given senses as translation of German rekurrent or rekursiv — more at recur

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Time Traveler for recursive

The first known use of recursive was in 1934

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More from Merriam-Webster on recursive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recursive

Britannica English: Translation of recursive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on recursive

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a secret plot to overthrow a government

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