Difference Between Recur and Reoccur

Main Difference

The main difference between the Recur and Reoccur is that the meaning of Recur is “to happen repeatedly or at regular intervals,” whereas the meaning of Reoccur is “to happen more than once, regardless of regularity.”

Recur vs. Reoccur

The meaning of Recur is “to happen at regular intervals.” The meaning of Reoccur is “to happen more than once.” The origin of Recur and reoccur dates back to the Latin verb ‘currere’ which means “to run.” The word Recure is older that used for the first time in the early 1500s. The word Reoccur derived in the 1700s with the combination of Latin parts of the root word ‘currere.’

The accent of Recure is /rɪˈkəː/. The accent of Reoccur is /riːəˈkəː/. The conjugations of Recur are recurring and recurred with the addition of suffix –ing and -ed. The conjugations of the verb Reoccur are reoccurred and reoccurring by the addition of the same suffixes as in recur.

The verb form Recur is more common than the other form Reoccur. Recur refers to an event, thought, incident happening repeatedly, or regularly. Reoccur refers to anything happening more than one time, regardless of regularity. Recur implies explicitly that an event happens frequently. However, Reoccur does not imply an event repeating regularly. The examples of the things that Recur are heartbeats, sunrise, holidays, etc. (that come more repeatedly). The things that Reoccur are heart attacks, shooting stars, earthquakes, etc. (frequently happen and regularly).

Comparison Chart

RecurReoccur
A verb which has the meaning“to happen repeatedly or at regular intervals.”A verb that means “to happen more than once (regardless of how often).”
Etymology
From Latin verb ‘currere’ meaning “to run.”From Latin verb ‘currere’ meaning “to run.”
Word History
The 1500sThe 1700s
Pronunciation
/rɪˈkəː//riːəˈkəː/
Number of Alphabets
FiveSeven
Implies
An event happening regularlyAn event happening regularly
Common
MoreLess

What is Recur?

The meaning of Recur is “to happen at regular intervals/repeatedly.” The origin of Recur dates back to the Latin verb ‘currere’ which means “to run.” It mainly derives from Latin “recurrere,” which means “to run back.” The literal meaning of Recur is “to run again.” The word Recur is an older word used for the first time in the early 1500s. The accent of the verb Recur is /rɪˈkəː/.

Recur refers to an event, thought, incident happening repeatedly, or regularly. Recur suggests a periodic repetition of a thing. The examples of Recurring events are sunset, the start of the cricket season, and a meeting that happens on the same day of every month. The sunset Recurs as it going to happen every night. The word ‘Recur’ is more common than its counterpart word ‘Reoccur.’

The word “Recurring” is older and more common than its counterpart “reoccurring,” The verb Recur also has other forms as adjective ‘recurring’ and noun ‘recurrence.’ There are different phrases with the adjective form of the verb Recur — for example, recurring dream, recurring illness, a recurring theme, recurring decimal, etc. The conjugations of Recur are recurring and recurred with the addition of suffix –ing and -ed.

Examples

  • “Brad and Melissa’s recurring breakups keep on happening after different intervals.
  • “Metal stents can complicate diagnosis and future treatment when symptoms recur as they often do.”
  • “Year after year, the recurring seasonal rains form storms with astonishing lighting or thunderbolt shows at night.
  • Symptoms of the disease may recur if treatment discontinued.
  • “Fear of the technological change recurs throughout Dickens’ novels.

What is Reoccur?

The meaning of Reoccur is “to happen more than once.” The origin of Reoccur dates back to the Latin verb ‘currere’ which means “to run.” The word Reoccur derived in the 1700s with the combination of Latin parts of the root word ‘currere.’ The accent of Reoccur is /riːəˈkəː/.

Reoccur refers to anything happening more than one time, regardless of regularity. A thing that happened once in the future is said to Reoccur if it happens again. Heart attacks, shooting stars, and volcanic eruptions are the things that can Reoccur because they happen more than once. The word Reoccur includes a prefix –re and a suffix word -occur. The prefix –re refers to the meaning “again.” To occur holds the meaning “to happen.” Since the verb ‘Reoccur’ means “to happen again.”

There is a phrase with the verb Reoccur that used in many news sources. It is “prevent the reoccurrence of,” which is probably referring to an incident, or problem, that has the risk of happening again. Reoccur refers to a thing that happens for a second time. But the word reoccur implies no regularity. The conjugations of the verb Reoccur are reoccurred and reoccurring by the addition of the same suffixes as in Recur.

Examples

  • “The incident will reoccur until the authorities take measures to prevent it.”
  • “Reoccurring trauma caused the mind to weaken prematurely.”
  • “My mother’s back problem from last winter reoccured.”
  • “The reoccurring earthquakes forced many residents of the town to evacuate from their homes temporarily.”

Key Differences

  1. The meaning of Recur is “to happen repeatedly or at regular intervals,” whereas the meaning of Reoccur is “to happen more than once.”
  2. The word Recur is an older form that used for the first time in the early 1500s; on the other hand, the word Reoccur derived in the 1700s with the combination of Latin parts of the root word.
  3. ‘Recur’ implies explicitly that an event happens regularly; on the contrary, ‘Reoccur’ does not imply an event happening regularly.
  4. The pronunciation of the verb Recur is /rɪˈkəː/ contrarily the pronunciation of Reoccur is /riːəˈkəː/.
  5. Recur refers to an event, thought, incident happening repeatedly or regularly, while Reoccur refers to anything happening more than one time, regardless of regularity.
  6. Recur is more common, and older words, inversely Reoccur is a less common and newer word.
  7. The conjugations of Recur are recurring and recurred with the addition of the suffix –ing and –ed, on the converse; the conjugations of the verb Reoccur are reoccurred and reoccurring by the addition of the same suffixes as in recur.

Conclusion

Recur and Reoccur are the two verbs with similar meaning and etymology but having a difference in their meaning and usage. Both of these words are not interchangeable.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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