Definition of recur in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈkər/

verb (recurs, recurring, recurred)

[no object]
1Occur again, periodically, or repeatedly: when the symptoms recurred, the doctor diagnosed something different (as adjective recurring) a recurring theme
More example sentences
  • In this article I would like to share with readers the themes that recur repeatedly in studies of successful organisations.
  • Attacks tend to occur in clusters, and symptoms may recur after an apparent period of remission.
  • As the problem recurs, the cycle repeats with expanded control or regulation.
happen again, reoccur, occur again, repeat (itself);
come back (again), return, reappear, appear again
1.1(Of a thought, image, or memory) come back to one’s mind: Steve’s words kept recurring to him
More example sentences
  • And if many thought that Mitchell's remarks about Bruton were an attempt to position himself for a seemingly inevitable leadership contest at that time, the thought has recently recurred in many of those suspicious minds.
  • The image recurs in my fantasies of that girl half-heartedly attempting to stop what was going to happen.
  • I don't know what I was thinking writing that but it is an image which recurs in my head.
1.2 (recur to) Go back to (something) in thought or speech: the book remained a favorite and she constantly recurred to it
More example sentences
  • So much has been said and written about the long-continued epidemic of scarlet fever in Kendal that I recur to the subject with great reluctance; but it is inevitable.
  • The microscopic study is highly facilitated by the possibility of preparing whole mounts of the fixed and stained transparent membrane without the necessity of recurring to the section method.
  • These letters are familiar, occasionally intimate, but on the whole quotidian, recurring to her real estate woes and his ne'er-do-well relations.


Middle English (in the sense 'return to'): from Latin recurrere, from re- 'again, back' + currere 'run'.

  • cursor from Middle English:

    Nowadays we call the movable indicator on our computer screen the cursor. In medieval English a cursor was a running messenger: it is a borrowing of the Latin word for ‘a runner’, and comes from currere ‘to run’. From the late 16th century cursor became the term for a sliding part of a slide rule or other instrument, marked with a line for pinpointing the position on a scale that you want, the forerunner of the computing sense. Currere is the source of very many English words including course (Middle English) something you run along; concourse (Late Middle English) originally a crowd who had ‘run together’; current (Middle English) originally meaning ‘running, flowing’; discursive (late 16th century) running away from the point; excursion (late 16th century) running out to see things; intercourse (Late Middle English) originally an exchange running between people; and precursor (Late Middle English) one who goes before; as well as supplying the cur part of concur (Late Middle English); incur (Late Middle English); occur (Late Middle English) (from ob- ‘against’); and recur (Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·cur

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