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In this tutorial, you will learn to write recursive functions in C programming with the help of an example.

Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. In programming languages, if a program allows you to call a function inside the same function, then it is called a recursive call of the function.

void recursion() {
   recursion(); /* function calls itself */

int main() {

The following example calculates the factorial of a given number using a recursive function −

#include <stdio.h>

unsigned long long int factorial(unsigned int i) {

   if(i <= 1) {
      return 1;
   return i * factorial(i - 1);

int  main() {
   int i = 12;
   printf("Factorial of %d is %d\n", i, factorial(i));
   return 0;
Output :

Factorial of 12 is 479001600

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