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Recurring vs. Reoccurring: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 10, 2023
Recurring events happen repeatedly and regularly, while reoccurring events happen again but not necessarily regularly.

Key Differences

Recurring refers to events or issues that happen repeatedly and at regular intervals. In contrast, reoccurring signifies something that happens again but without the implication of regularity or predictability.
Recurring is often used to describe habitual or cyclical events, such as recurring meetings or recurring symptoms. Reoccurring, however, is used for events that happen more than once but do not follow a predictable pattern.
In the context of finance, recurring is used for regular expenses or incomes, like monthly subscriptions. Reoccurring, though less commonly used in this domain, could refer to irregular or unexpected repetitions of financial transactions.
In terms of language usage, recurring is more common and broadly applied, while reoccurring is less frequent and often used for emphasis on the unexpected or unplanned nature of the repetition.
In literature, recurring themes or motifs are those that appear consistently throughout a work. Reoccurring themes might appear at intervals but without the same sense of regularity or emphasis.

Comparison Chart






Often frequent
Less frequent


Common in various contexts
Less common, more specific


Habitual, cyclic
Unexpected, sporadic

Recurring and Reoccurring Definitions


Happening repeatedly at regular intervals.
The recurring theme of love was evident in the novel.


Occurring once more, sporadically.
The reoccurring theme in her paintings is nature's resilience.


Continuously repeated over a period.
Her recurring dreams about flying left her puzzled.


Happening again but not at regular intervals.
The reoccurring technical glitches disrupted the live broadcast.


Occurring again periodically or repeatedly.
The actor's recurring role on the show was popular among fans.


Reappearing or returning occasionally.
The reoccurring pain in his knee was a result of an old injury.


In finance, a transaction that repeats at regular intervals.
His recurring bill payments were automatically deducted from his account.


Happening anew, without predictability.
The reoccurring issues with the software frustrated the team.


Persistently recurring to the mind.
The recurring memory of his smile brought her comfort.


Arising or manifesting again, but not regularly.
His reoccurring bouts of amnesia were a source of concern.


To happen or occur again or repeatedly
The pain recurred after eating.


Present participle of reoccur


To return to one's attention or memory
The thought recurred to her late at night.


To return in thought or discourse
He recurred to the subject right after dinner.


(Archaic) To have recourse; resort
"When ... direct taxes are not necessary, they will not be recurred to" (James Madison).


Present participle of recur


Happening or occurring frequently, with repetition.
He has recurring asthma attacks.
Revenge is a recurring theme in this novel.


(mathematics) Of a decimal: having a set of digits that is repeated indefinitely.
Every rational number can be written as either a terminating decimal or a recurring decimal.


A recurrence; a coming round again.


Coming back;
A revenant ghost


Is "recurring" the same as "reoccurring"?

No, "recurring" implies regularity, while "reoccurring" indicates happening again but not regularly.

Which is more common, "recurring" or "reoccurring"?

"Recurring" is more commonly used in various contexts.

How do you use "recurring" in a sentence?

Example: "The recurring meetings every Monday help the team stay aligned."

Are "recurring" events always predictable?

Typically, yes, as "recurring" implies a regular pattern.

Can "recurring" be used for unpredictable events?

No, "recurring" is best suited for predictable, regular events.

Can a "recurring" event become "reoccurring"?

Yes, if a regular event starts happening irregularly, it can be described as "reoccurring."

How do you use "reoccurring" in a sentence?

Example: "The reoccurring errors in the system are unpredictable."

Does "reoccurring" imply a lesser frequency than "recurring"?

Not necessarily lesser, but "reoccurring" events are less predictable and regular.

Is "reoccurring" a real word?

Yes, "reoccurring" is a valid word, though less common than "recurring."

Can "reoccurring" describe financial transactions?

Yes, but usually for transactions that repeat irregularly.

Does "recurring" have a specific financial meaning?

Yes, it's used for regular transactions like subscriptions.

Can "reoccurring" events become habitual?

If they start occurring regularly, they would then be better described as "recurring."

Which term is better for describing habits, "recurring" or "reoccurring"?

"Recurring" is more suitable for habits due to its implication of regularity.

Are both terms interchangeable in daily use?

They are not strictly interchangeable, as they have different implications.

Are "recurring" roles in TV shows the same as "reoccurring" roles?

No, "recurring" roles appear regularly, while "reoccurring" roles might not.

Can a "reoccurring" event become a tradition?

If it starts occurring regularly, it may transition to being a "recurring" event.

Do "reoccurring" events always follow the same pattern?

No, "reoccurring" events can vary in timing and manner of occurrence.

Is "recurring" used in medical terms?

Yes, for symptoms or conditions that appear regularly.

How does "recurring" relate to literature?

It describes themes or motifs that appear regularly in a work.

Can "reoccurring" be used in a scientific context?

Yes, to describe phenomena that happen again but irregularly.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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