cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl \

Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
2a : a course or series of events or operations that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point … the common cycle of birth, growth, senescence, and death.— T. C. Schneirla and Gerard Piel
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 : a circular or spiral arrangement: such as
a : an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens
4 : a long period of time : age
5a : a group of creative works (such as poems, plays, or songs) treating the same theme a cycle of poems about unrequited love
b : a series of narratives dealing typically with the exploits of a legendary hero the Arthurian cycle
6a : bicycle
b : tricycle
7 : the series of a single, double, triple, and home run hit in any order by one player during one baseball game

cycle

verb
cycled; cycling\ ˈsī-​k(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to pass through a cycle
b : to recur in cycles
2 : to ride a cycle specifically : bicycle

transitive verb

: to cause to go through a cycle

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Other Words from cycle

Verb

cycler \ ˈsī-​k(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for cycle

Synonyms: Noun

circle, merry-go-round, round, wheel, zodiac

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Examples of cycle in a Sentence

Noun

We have to wait for the dishwasher's wash and dry cycles to end. the spin cycle on a washing machine He rode his cycle into town.

Verb

The water is cycled back into the system after it has been used. The water cycles back into the system.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Benchmark Treasury yields, which help set borrowing costs for consumers, businesses and state and local governments, may have reached their highs for this economic cycle, the economists said in a report Tuesday. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs Lowers Forecasts for Yields, Fed," 9 Jan. 2019 This communication cycle is reflected on the company’s organizational chart—not the typical inverted pyramid of hierarchy, but rather a circle. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Limitless Uses of Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty," 26 Dec. 2018 The data shows that after this cycle repeated 21 times, the captain ceded control to the first officer and MCAS then pushed the nose down twice more, this time without a pilot response. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018 Former employees have complained to me that this cycle tends to reward projects that can be completely quickly to juice the metric in question, impress the boss, and earn their bonus, whatever the intrinsic merits of the project in question. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A majority of Americans don’t think social networks are good for the world," 21 Nov. 2018 Regardless, young people this midterm election cycle are voting. Clarissa Brooks, Teen Vogue, "Nonvoters Have Valid Criticisms of the United States Government," 16 Nov. 2018 One of the brightest Democratic stars of this election cycle, Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in New York with more than 75 percent of the vote. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The 2018 Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 This cycle repeats project after project, episode after episode, and the big reveal is always a satisfying dreamy and luxurious home. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Based on your zodiac sign, what should your Halloween costume be?," 10 Oct. 2018 The update speed of Android devices is worth paying attention to this release cycle because things are actually different. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "OnePlus takes just 45 days to bring Android 9 Pie to the OnePlus 6," 23 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ars staffers have their roster of favorite subscriptions to cycle through whether hopping a train, killing time on a flight, or dusting our shelves of vinyl miniature figurines. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A few of our favorite podcasts in 2018, from new to new-to-us," 23 Dec. 2018 Trends are prints or silhouettes that cycle through our style consciousness, coming back again and again—but a little bit different each time. Marie Claire, "Wear it to Work: Updated Plaid," 15 Sep. 2018 In an 1895 paper on heart disease, one doctor reported that a patient who had panted for breath after climbing one flight of stairs was now able to cycle up hills with ease. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 But a franchise that cycles through too many players risks building a team with no cohesion. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "How Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto Wheeled and Dealed His Way to First-Half Success," 22 June 2018 At some point Slauson noticed that the show cycled through the same product prizes again and again and that the prices rarely changed. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "How one San Antonio man’s obsession with ‘The Price is Right’ almost destroyed the show," 8 June 2018 The daunting parcels were placed in shopping bags, cardboard boxes, and in the case of Spencer Davis, 33, of Brooklyn, a backpack made from the hide of a water buffalo, which held two boxes as Ms. Davis cycled back home to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "In Bryant Park, 3 Million Bees, Sold From the Back of a Truck," 13 Apr. 2018 If route-mapping and panniers aren’t your thing, there are easier biking options—and some major benefits to cycling the Wachau region with an organized group. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Way to Experience Austria's Wine Country Is By Bike," 7 Sep. 2018 The Tour de France has a new champion, but the narrative remains the same at cycling’s biggest race: Team Sky’s domination has no limits. Samuel Petrequin, The Seattle Times, "Team Sky’s dominance at Tour de France set to continue," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cycle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cycle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1842, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cycle

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for cycle

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cycle

The first known use of cycle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cycle

cycle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

cycle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

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

: to ride a bicycle

cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl \

Kids Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period of time taken up by a series of events or actions that repeat themselves again and again in the same order the cycle of the seasons
2 : a complete round or series The dishwasher started its drying cycle.

cycle

verb
cycled; cycling

Kids Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ride a bicycle or motorcycle

cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl \

Medical Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a recurring series of events: as
a(1) : a series of stages through which an organism tends to pass once in a fixed order the common cycle of birth, growth, senescence and death— T. C. Schneirla & Gerard Piel also : a series of stages through which a population of organisms tends to pass more or less in synchrony the mosquito-hatching cycle — see life cycle
(2) : a series of physiological, biochemical, or psychological stages that recur in the same individual — see cardiac cycle, menstrual cycle krebs cycle
b : one complete performance of a vibration, electric oscillation, current alternation, or other periodic process
c : a series of ecological stages through which a substance tends to pass and which usually but not always leads back to the starting point the cycle of nitrogen in the living world

Other Words from cycle

cyclic \ ˈsī-​klik also ˈsik-​lik \ or cyclical \ ˈsī-​kli-​kəl , ˈsik-​li-​ \ adjective
cyclically \ -​k(ə-​)lē \ also cyclicly \ ˈsī-​kli-​klē, ˈsik-​li-​ \ adverb
cycled; cycling

Medical Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to undergo the estrous cycle the mare has begun cycling

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More from Merriam-Webster on cycle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cycle

Spanish Central: Translation of cycle

Nglish: Translation of cycle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cycle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cycle

Comments on cycle

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to gather or build up little by little

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