Definition of recurrent in English:



  • 1Occurring often or repeatedly.

    ‘she had a recurrent dream about falling’
    • ‘The onset is often sudden, random and frequently recurrent.’
    • ‘He refers to her suffering from frequent and recurrent nightmares precipitated by abuse.’
    • ‘A few million local men had just been awakened from their recurrent football dream and you could hear it.’
    • ‘To this day, I still have recurrent dreams of the Corryvreckan, in which I find myself descending a watery spiral staircase to hell.’
    • ‘Patterns are recurrent, regular attributes of world phenomena or abstract examples.’
    • ‘Severe social and economic problems caused recurrent unrest and frequent changes of government.’
    • ‘It's been much more common to see history as cyclical or recurrent.’
    • ‘Its not a recurrent dream but I think it has some significance.’
    • ‘In a recurrent dream, repeated hundreds of times, she saw herself walking on a narrow bridge toward the Golden City.’
    • ‘The recurrent problems continue unchecked under his stewardship, and he has not taken the lead in response to other disasters that befall the city.’
    • ‘The royal dynasty he founded proved remarkably durable, surviving recurrent periods of minority rule in the 15th and 16th cents.’
    • ‘She has a remarkable likeness to an unknown figure who appears in his recurrent dreams, a fact that Paul takes as some sort of omen.’
    • ‘I croaked, woken from my recurrent dream of loading reams of information onto the computer, by a banshee wail that went on and on, somewhere in the very near vicinity.’
    • ‘The disorder is thus characterised by involuntary, persistent remembering or reliving the traumatic event in flashbacks, vivid memories, and recurrent dreams.’
    • ‘As a child I had a recurrent dream about being swallowed by a snake.’
    • ‘Well I suppose a lot of people have a recurrent dream.’
    • ‘Moreover, their posting to Britain was normally only one step in a career that will have taken them to many parts of the empire, including recurrent periods in the imperial capital or with the emperor.’
    • ‘The regularity of spring rains is being replaced by recurrent three- and four-year droughts.’
    • ‘I think you should try some kind interpretation of the recurrent images in your dreams (psychoanalysis, tarot, etc).’
    • ‘She has a recurrent character in her dream - a man with smoldering eyes who sees through her soul - that makes her wake happy.’
    repeated, recurring, repetitive, reiterative, periodic, happening at intervals, cyclical, cyclic, seasonal, perennial, regular, habitual, chronic, continual, frequent
    intermittent, sporadic, spasmodic, odd
    View synonyms
  • 2Anatomy
    (of a nerve or blood vessel) turning back so as to reverse direction.

    ‘the recurrent nerve leaves the hypocerebral ganglion’
    • ‘The right recurrent laryngeal nerve usually passes around and behind the subclavian artery and then ascends to enter the larynx.’
    • ‘The right lobe of the thyroid was massively infiltrated with tumor that had encased the right recurrent laryngeal nerve.’
    • ‘It is imperative that the needle be positioned correctly so the recurrent laryngeal and phrenic nerves are not infiltrated with medication.’
    • ‘Risks of parathyroid surgery include permanent hypoparathyroidism and damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve.’
    • ‘The recurrent laryngeal nerve runs immediately behind branches of the inferior thyroid artery so care was taken to avoid damage to this structure.’


Late 16th century (in recurrent): from Latin recurrent- running back, from the verb recurrere (see recur).