[ ri-kur-siv ]
/ rɪˈkɜr sɪv /


pertaining to or using a rule or procedure that can be applied repeatedly.
Mathematics, Computers. pertaining to or using the mathematical process of recursion: a recursive function; a recursive procedure.

Origin of recursive

First recorded in 1935–40; recurs(ion) + -ive
Related formsre·cur·sive·ly, adverbre·cur·sive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for recursive



1790, "periodically recurring," from Latin recurs-, stem of recurrere (see recur) + -ive. Mathematical sense is from 1934. Related: Recursively; recursiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper