Definition of recur in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Occur again periodically or repeatedly.

    ‘when the symptoms recurred, the doctor diagnosed something different’
    • ‘However, the principle of the main theme recurring in the same key is usually adhered to.’
    • ‘As the problem recurs, the cycle repeats with expanded control or regulation.’
    • ‘In other cases, your GP will refer you again if your symptoms recur.’
    • ‘A number of themes recur in the anti-smoking campaigns.’
    • ‘Studies from primary care show that one year after a first consultation, 40-50% of patients report that their symptoms have persisted or recurred.’
    • ‘Over the ensuing 2-year period, the tumor recurred in the neck and metastasized to the lungs, skin, and bone.’
    • ‘The theme of life lessons recurs throughout these eleven poems, as the reader follows a young girl and boy through childhood.’
    • ‘This yearning for a unifying heroic leader recurred repeatedly.’
    • ‘Any lesion, even one presumed benign, that repeatedly recurs after proper cryotherapy should be biopsied.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Attacks tend to occur in clusters, and symptoms may recur after an apparent period of remission.’
    • ‘Many of the symptoms recurred at least monthly in 72 percent of the women.’
    • ‘In severe cases the soreness and pain are extreme and recur repeatedly accompanied by swelling of the joints and even deformity.’
    • ‘When her symptoms recurred later that evening, she followed this advice and had her daughter drive her to the emergency department.’
    • ‘One theme that recurs throughout the weekly course topics is the influence of mothers on fathers and vice versa.’
    • ‘When I asked the experts about three to five little changes you can make, several themes recurred.’
    • ‘In May 2003, his condition deteriorated again with all previous symptoms and signs recurring.’
    • ‘Symptoms recurred promptly on discontinuation of therapy.’
    • ‘In this article I would like to share with readers the themes that recur repeatedly in studies of successful organisations.’
    • ‘These are the themes that recur in his poems: absence, invasion, exile, loss.’
    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’
      • ‘I don't know what I was thinking writing that but it is an image which recurs in my head.’
      • ‘Finally yesterday's events recurred in her mind and her heart rate lowered sufficiently.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The image recurs in my fantasies of that girl half-heartedly attempting to stop what was going to happen.’
      • ‘I had recurring images of her lying dead in front of me and I could not control my despair at times.’
      • ‘Or had it to do with the severity of the memories, and how often they recurred?’
      • ‘They constitute a state of mind which is prone to recur.’
      • ‘Obsessions are recurring thoughts or images that cause feelings of disgust.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2recur to Go back to (something) in thought or speech.
      ‘the book remained a favorite and she constantly recurred to it’
      • ‘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 am not sure that anyone but the historian of anatomical science is ever likely to recur to them.’
      • ‘If the record of this case shall be preserved in some substantial form, men and women of other generations will recur to it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He did not therefore recur to his difficulties on the score of morals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I usually recur to books at the public library or information from websites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These letters are familiar, occasionally intimate, but on the whole quotidian, recurring to her real estate woes and his ne'er-do-well relations.’


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