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[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
1935-40; recurs(ion) + -ive
Related forms
recursively, adverb
recursiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recursively
  • In other words, the end-user's payments are recursively distributed through the producer-consumer hierarchy.
  • He presented an alternative approach to recursion theory using graphs of recursive functions as recursively enumerable sets.
  • If you ever need to drill down through a directory recursively, this code will do it.
  • The program works by recursively finding strong anchors from the collection of maximal matches in the sequences.
Contemporary definitions for recursively
adjective, adverb's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for recursively



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
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