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Webster 1913 Edition


Recursion

Re-cur′sion

(-sh?n)
,
Noun.
[L.
recursio
. See
Recur
.]
The act of recurring; return.
[Obs.]
Boyle.
(Computers) A programming technique in which a function calls itself as a subfunction. Such calls may be repeated in series to arbitrary depth, provided that a terminating condition is given so that the final (deepest) call will return a value (rather than continue to recurse), which then permits the next higher call to return a value, and so forth, until the original call returns a value to the calling program. –>

Webster 1828 Edition


Recursion

RECUR'SION

,
Noun.
[L. recursus, recurro; re and curro, to run.] Return. [Little used.]

Definition 2022


recursion

recursion

See also: recursión and récursion

English

A recursive shape
Examples

Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

Noun

recursion (plural recursions)

  1. The act of recurring.
  2. (mathematics) The act of defining an object (usually a function) in terms of that object itself.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 128:
      However, we have still not achieved our goal of devising a finite set of rules
      which will generate an infinite set of sentence structures. In order to achieve
      this goal, we need to allow for the fact that natural languages typically have
      the property that they allow potentially infinite recursion of particular struc-
      tures. For example, one Clause can be embedded inside another indefinitely
      many times, [...]
    n! = n × (n 1)! (for n > 0) or 1 (for n = 0) defines the factorial function using recursion.
  3. (computing) The calling of a function from within that same function.
    This function uses recursion to compute factorials.

Derived terms

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