Definition of recur in US English:



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  • 1Occur again periodically or repeatedly.

    ‘when the symptoms recurred, the doctor diagnosed something different’
    • ‘Any lesion, even one presumed benign, that repeatedly recurs after proper cryotherapy should be biopsied.’
    • ‘In other cases, your GP will refer you again if your symptoms recur.’
    • ‘Studies from primary care show that one year after a first consultation, 40-50% of patients report that their symptoms have persisted or recurred.’
    • ‘In May 2003, his condition deteriorated again with all previous symptoms and signs recurring.’
    • ‘Over the ensuing 2-year period, the tumor recurred in the neck and metastasized to the lungs, skin, and bone.’
    • ‘Symptoms recurred promptly on discontinuation of therapy.’
    • ‘However, the principle of the main theme recurring in the same key is usually adhered to.’
    • ‘When I asked the experts about three to five little changes you can make, several themes recurred.’
    • ‘These are the themes that recur in his poems: absence, invasion, exile, loss.’
    • ‘If the first tablet does not completely relieve the symptoms or if the symptoms recur after a few days, the second tablet can be taken.’
    • ‘In this article I would like to share with readers the themes that recur repeatedly in studies of successful organisations.’
    • ‘In severe cases the soreness and pain are extreme and recur repeatedly accompanied by swelling of the joints and even deformity.’
    • ‘This yearning for a unifying heroic leader recurred repeatedly.’
    • ‘Attacks tend to occur in clusters, and symptoms may recur after an apparent period of remission.’
    • ‘The theme of life lessons recurs throughout these eleven poems, as the reader follows a young girl and boy through childhood.’
    • ‘When her symptoms recurred later that evening, she followed this advice and had her daughter drive her to the emergency department.’
    • ‘As the problem recurs, the cycle repeats with expanded control or regulation.’
    • ‘Many of the symptoms recurred at least monthly in 72 percent of the women.’
    • ‘One theme that recurs throughout the weekly course topics is the influence of mothers on fathers and vice versa.’
    • ‘A number of themes recur in the anti-smoking campaigns.’
    happen again, reoccur, occur again, be repeated, repeat, repeat itself
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a thought, image, or memory) come back to one's mind.
      ‘Steve's words kept recurring to him’
      • ‘Phrases recurred in your mind, do you remember?’
      • ‘Nevertheless, he shrugged it off when the disturbing image of an inert Birdie recurred in his mind again.’
      • ‘He knew that he still dreamt, because he would wake up in the night, terrified and soaked in sweat, but the images no longer recurred during the day, confusing him and trapping him into saying or doing things he had not intended.’
      • ‘They constitute a state of mind which is prone to recur.’
      • ‘Finally yesterday's events recurred in her mind and her heart rate lowered sufficiently.’
      • ‘Obsessions are recurring thoughts or images that cause feelings of disgust.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had recurring images of her lying dead in front of me and I could not control my despair at times.’
      • ‘The image recurs in my fantasies of that girl half-heartedly attempting to stop what was going to happen.’
      • ‘Or had it to do with the severity of the memories, and how often they recurred?’
      • ‘I don't know what I was thinking writing that but it is an image which recurs in my head.’
      • ‘With the passing of time and during moments of solitude - so often the significant moments in Wordsworth's inner experience - the dancing flowers recurred in his mind.’
    2. 1.2recur to Go back to (something) in thought or speech.
      ‘the book remained a favorite and she constantly recurred to it’
      • ‘I am not sure that anyone but the historian of anatomical science is ever likely to recur to them.’
      • ‘These letters are familiar, occasionally intimate, but on the whole quotidian, recurring to her real estate woes and his ne'er-do-well relations.’
      • ‘While certainly Pheoby's telling will be her own, she will have no choice but to recur to certain words, certain phrasings, and certain passages of Janie's story in order to tell the story itself.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I usually recur to books at the public library or information from websites.’
      • ‘Indeed, many other things were different then too, including the fact that in Sophocles' day people were paid to attend the theater, a point I shall indirectly recur to later.’
      • ‘I used to recur to Todd Carroll's Skeptic's Dictionary as a source of information, until I started to observe that even the raw data of events is transfigured to serve its ‘skeptical’ purposes.’
      • ‘If the record of this case shall be preserved in some substantial form, men and women of other generations will recur to it.’
      • ‘He did not therefore recur to his difficulties on the score of morals.’


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