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noun cy·cle \ˈsī-kəl\

Simple Definition of cycle

  • : a set of events or actions that happen again and again in the same order : a repeating series of events or actions

  • : a set of regular and repeated actions that are done by a machine as part of a longer process

  • : a bicycle or motorcycle

Full Definition of cycle

  1. 1 :  an interval of time during which a sequence of a recurring succession of events or phenomena is completed <a 4-year cycle of growth and development>

  2. 2 a :  a course or series of events or operations that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point b :  one complete performance of a vibration, electric oscillation, current alternation, or other periodic process c :  a permutation of a set of ordered elements in which each element takes the place of the next and the last becomes first d :  a takeoff and landing of an airplane

  3. 3 :  a circular or spiral arrangement: as a :  an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens b :  ring 10

  4. 4 :  a long period of time :  age

  5. 5 a :  a group of creative works (as poems, plays, or songs) treating the same theme b :  a series of narratives dealing typically with the exploits of a legendary hero

  6. 6 a :  bicycle b :  tricycle c :  motorcycle

  7. 7 :  the series of a single, double, triple, and home run hit in any order by one player during one baseball game

Examples of cycle

  1. We have to wait for the dishwasher's wash and dry cycles to end.

  2. the spin cycle on a washing machine

  3. He rode his cycle into town.

Origin of cycle

Middle English cicle, from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kyklos circle, wheel, cycle — more at wheel

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Electrical Engineering Terms



verb cy·cle

Simple Definition of cycle

  • : to go through a repeated process or to cause (something) to go through a repeated process

  • : to ride a bicycle

Full Definition of cycle

cy·cledcy·cling play \ˈsī-k(ə-)liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to pass through a cycle b :  to recur in cycles

  3. 2 :  to ride a cycle; specifically :  bicycle

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to cause to go through a cycle

cy·cler play \ˈsī-k(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of cycle

  1. The water is cycled back into the system after it has been used.

  2. The water cycles back into the system.


First Known Use of cycle


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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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