recursive definition


: a definition of a function permitting values of the function to be calculated systematically in a finite number of steps
especially : a mathematical definition in which the first case is given and the nth case is defined in terms of one or more previous cases and especially the immediately preceding one
a recursive definition of the factorial is given by 0! = 1 and (n + 1)! = (n + 1) ‧ n!

Word History


recurs(ion) + -ive

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Dictionary Entries Near recursive definition

Cite this Entry

“Recursive definition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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