Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Aug 18, 2022
This week’s theme
Words that aren’t what they appear to be

This week’s words
plutography
miniate
irredentist
recurse
decalcomania

recurse
Image: Wikimedia

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

recurse

PRONUNCIATION:
(ri-KUHRS)

MEANING:
verb tr., intr.
1. To describe, define, or perform something in terms of itself.
2. To perform an operation by repeated application of a technique, such that the results of the first step are put through the same technique again.

NOTES:
If you have seen a photo of a photo of a photo of a ... you have seen the results of a recursing. In computer programming, sometimes the most elegant solution is to recurse, for example, in calculating the factorial of a number. While computers are relatively recent, artists have been recursing for a long time. See also: mise en abyme.
What would it look like if someone were to curse in a recursive manner?

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin recurrere (to run back), from re- (again) + currere (to run). Earliest documented use: 1965.

USAGE:
“But as I recursed through the doors time and time again, what was changing? Nothing seemed to change? I seemed to be caught in an endless loop that would eventually lead to madness.”
Gil Waugh; Mind Surfing; iUniverse; 2008.

“I will break society’s recursing corruption. Civilization is reaching its base case.”
Justin March; American Hex; BookRix; 2013.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Someone needs to explain to me why wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist and why proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn't make a corporation a terrorist. -Winona LaDuke, activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer (b. 18 Aug 1959)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith