Meaning of recursive

recursive




Something that is recursive has to do with a procedure or rule that is repeated. Think of something that “reoccurs” over and over again, like those fun house mirrors that are angled to present an infinite number of images.

The adjective recursive comes from the Latin recurrere. The idea of something being recursive was first used in mathematics in 1934, its most famous application being in the recursive geometry of fractals, images that, when broken down, are created by exact copies of the whole, a continuing process. Another example of a recursive process is the Droste effect, in which a picture contains an exact copy of the picture, which contains a smaller copy, and so on. Dizzy yet?

Definitions of recursive
  1. adjective

    of or relating to a recursion

    Synonyms:

    algorithmic

    of or relating to or having the characteristics of an algorithm

Word Family

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