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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a recurrent/recurring dream (=that you have many times)
▪ Having recurrent dreams is a very common experience.
a recurrent/recurring theme (=one that appears several times)
▪ Returning to traditional values was a major theme of the president’s speech.
a recurring feature (=one that happens again and again)
▪ Humour is a recurring feature of her novels.
▪ Here, expressed in ecclesiastical terms, was the distinction between North and South which recurs frequently in writings of the period.
▪ In anticipation that the same problem might recur this summer I tried sowing some sweet peas with the runner beans.
▪ Two problems recur in attempts to adopt any of the above solutions to the problem of natural monopoly.
▪ The guarantee only agrees to re-treat the affected areas - it does not guarantee that the problem will not recur.
▪ Threadworm is easily treated but unless the following precautions are taken the problem may recur.
▪ Two themes recur throughout our discussion of welfare economics in Part 3.
▪ And not only do the themes recur, but they overlap.
▪ Particular themes recur in any discussion of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
▪ Four themes recurred throughout the research.
▪ These themes constantly recur up to the First World War.
▪ Some themes recur in several papers and this is indicative of their urgency.
▪ Four themes recur throughout this volume.
▪ Although the treatment for skin cancer is usually successful, the problem can recur later.
▪ He has a small recurring role as Earl the barber.
▪ Some people find that the same dream keeps recurring over a period of many years.
▪ And as the sound recurred she identified it and fled, with a speed which astonished her, through the nearest door.
▪ Ashby says even after all these years, he still suffers from constantly recurring respiratory problems and skin rashes.
▪ Bob carried out immediate treatment and reassured the client that the infestation would not recur because the drainage system had been replaced.
▪ Bromocriptine increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which controls rhythmic biological cycles that recur every 24 hours.
▪ Here, expressed in ecclesiastical terms, was the distinction between North and South which recurs frequently in writings of the period.
▪ In anticipation that the same problem might recur this summer I tried sowing some sweet peas with the runner beans.
▪ One of Tan's recurring motifs is self-expression or its absence.
▪ The recurring theme here is that community makes learning possible.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Recur \Re*cur"\ (r?*k?r"), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Recurred (-k?rd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Recurring.] [L. recurrere; pref. re- re- + currere to run. See Current.]

  1. To come back; to return again or repeatedly; to come again to mind.

    When any word has been used to signify an idea, the old idea will recur in the mind when the word is heard.
    --I. Watts.

  2. To occur at a stated interval, or according to some regular rule; as, the fever will recur to-night.

  3. To resort; to have recourse; to go for help.

    If, to avoid succession in eternal existence, they recur to the ``punctum stans'' of the schools, they will thereby very little help us to a more positive idea of infinite duration.

    Recurring decimal (Math.), a circulating decimal. See under Decimal.

    Recurring series (Math.), an algebraic series in which the coefficients of the several terms can be expressed by means of certain preceding coefficients and constants in one uniform manner.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "recover from illness or suffering;" mid-15c., "to return" (to a place), from Latin recurrere "to return, run back, hasten back," figuratively "revert, recur," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Originally of persons; application to thoughts, ideas, etc. is recorded from 1620s. Meaning "happen again" is from 1670s. Related: Recurred; recurring.


vb. 1 (context now rare English) To have recourse (to) someone or something for assistance, support etc. 2 (context intransitive English) To happen again. 3 (context intransitive computing English) To recurse.

  1. v. happen or occur again; "This is a recurring story" [syn: repeat]

  2. return in thought or speech to something [syn: go back]

  3. have recourse to; "The government resorted to rationing meat" [syn: fall back, resort]

  4. [also: recurring, recurred]

Usage examples of "recur".

He had recurring flashes of a universal myth cycle explaining, in grand architectonic fashion, the growing informational subtlety that rose out of energy, through matter, through life, through mind, through worldmind and starmind and universal mind.

In consequence of their endlessly varied, constantly recurring, intensely earnest speculations and musings over this contrast of finite restlessness and pain with infinite peace and blessedness, a contrast which constitutes the preaching of their priests, saturates their sacred books, fills their thoughts, and broods over all their life, the Orientals are pervaded with a profound horror of individual existence, and with a profound desire for absorption into the Infinite Being.

When it began to thunder and lighten, however, and to grow black in the northeast, Brith professed recurring symptoms of piety.

Upon the whole, the metempsychosis may be understood, as to its inmost meaning and its final issue, to be either a Development, a Revolution, or a Retribution, a Divine system of development eternally leading creatures in a graduated ascension from the base towards the apex of the creation, a perpetual cycle in the order of nature fixedly recurring by the necessities of a physical fate unalterable, unavoidable, eternal, a scheme of punishment and reward exactly fitted to the exigencies of every case, presided over by a moral Nemesis, and issuing at last in the emancipation of every purified soul into infinite bliss, when, by the upward gravitation of spirit, they shall all have been strained through the successively finer growing filters of the worlds, from the coarse grained foundation of matter to the lower shore of the Divine essence.

The subtle, recurring confusion between illusion and reality that was characteristic of paramnesia fascinated the chaplain, and he knew a number of things about it.

This idea of the banishment or admission of souls, according to their deserts, or according to an elective grace, into an anchored location called hell or heaven, a retributive or rewarding residence for eternity, we shall pass by with few words, because it recurs for fuller examination in other chapters.

Her eyelids drooped, and she fell into her recurring dream of the sleeping dragon, focusing on the smooth scaleless skin of its chest, a patch of whiteness that came to surround her, to draw her into a world of whiteness with the serene constancy of its rhythmic rise and fall, as unvarying and predictable as the ticking of a perfect clock.

I cannot for the life of me fit the recurring facial carbuncles of Karl Marx into my manipulationsnot even, though we know, well after the fact, that agonizing staphylococcus aitreus infections behind that famous beard helped shape twentieth century totalitarianism.

But the moment he found himself at liberty, the critical situation of his affairs, if the Syndic refused to take the bait, recurred to his mind, and harassed him.

It was simply a provision for constantly recurring arbitration, obtained by reference to a changeable, and practically unauthoritative board of judges.

The actions of these machines recur in a regular series, at regular intervals, with the unerringness of circulating decimals.

For, notwithstanding the manifold reasons he had to expect a happy issue to his aim, his imagination was incessantly infected with something that chilled his nerves and saddened his heart, recurring, with quick succession, like the unwearied wave that beats upon the bleak, inhospitable Greenland shore.

I in vain endeavour to persuade myself of his virtues, and recur, at least, to the unwearying affection for me which he professes.

More than a month would pass before Adams felt reasonably well again, and some symptoms of the fever would drag on, or recur long afterward, another characteristic of malaria.

If I had been counsellor to the basileus, I would have advised him not to recur to such childish machinations.