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[ri-kur-uhnt, -kuhr-]
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  1. that recurs; occurring or appearing again, especially repeatedly or periodically.
  2. Anatomy. turned back so as to run in a reverse direction, as a nerve, artery, branch, etc.
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Origin of recurrent

1590–1600; < Latin recurrent- (stem of recurrēns), present participle of recurrere to run back, equivalent to recurr(ere) (see recur) + -ent- -ent
Related formsre·cur·rent·ly, adverbun·re·cur·rent, adjectiveun·re·cur·rent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for recurrent

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for recurrent

intermittent, repetitive, repeated, periodic, frequent, recurring, alternate, chain, cyclical, habitual, periodical, regular, rolling, isochronal, isochronous, continued, reoccurring

Examples from the Web for recurrent

Contemporary Examples of recurrent

Historical Examples of recurrent

British Dictionary definitions for recurrent


  1. happening or tending to happen again or repeatedly
  2. anatomy (of certain nerves, branches of vessels, etc) turning back, so as to run in the opposite direction
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Derived Formsrecurrently, adverbrecurrence, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for recurrent


1610s, from Middle French recurrent (16c.) and directly from Latin recurrentem (nominative recurrens), present participle of recurrere "run back, hasten back, return" (see recur). From 1590s as a noun ("recurrent muscle").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recurrent in Medicine


  1. Occurring or appearing again or repeatedly.
  2. Turning in a reverse direction. Used of blood vessels and nerves.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.