[ ri-kur-zhuhn ]

nounMathematics, Computers.
  1. the process of defining a function or calculating a number by the repeated application of an algorithm.

Origin of recursion

1925–30; <Late Latin recursiōn- (stem of recursiō) a running back, equivalent to recurs(us) (see recourse) + -iōn--ion

Words Nearby recursion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use recursion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for recursion


/ (rɪˈkɜːʃən) /

  1. the act or process of returning or running back

  2. logic maths the application of a function to its own values to generate an infinite sequence of values. The recursion formula or clause of a definition specifies the progression from one term to the next, as given the base clause f (0) = 0, f (n + 1) = f (n) + 3 specifies the successive terms of the sequence f (n) = 3 n

Origin of recursion

C17: from Latin recursio, from recurrere recur

Derived forms of recursion

  • recursive, adjective

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