cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce cycling (audio) \

Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to pass through a cycle The menu cycles through all the options. Because the traditional HVAC system cycles on and off—and is powered down when you leave—relief is inconsistent at best.— Sarah Littleton
b : to recur in cycles Freezing temperatures … aren't the problem. It's when temperatures cycle between freezing and thaws, causing pavement to contract and expand … that can create larger issues.— Jonathan Oosting
2 : to ride a cycle specifically : bicycle She cycles to work.

transitive verb

: to cause to go through a cycle The fact that it [the pump] runs constantly may be a bad sign. It may be cycling the water, not removing it.Popular Mechanics Everything is constantly cycled in nature. There is abundant waste in nature, just as there is in industry, but in nature waste constantly flows back into living systems.— Paul Hawken and William McDonough

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Other Words from cycle

Verb

cycler \ ˈsī-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce cycler (audio) \ noun

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 Flexing his advantage as an incumbent, Cornyn had led in fundraising through June, with more than $22.2 million in contributions for the cycle, compared with Hegar’s $6.5 million. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Watch live: John Cornyn, MJ Hegar in Texas Senate debate," 10 Oct. 2020 Journalists are, for the second election cycle in a row, riding the hurricane. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Donald Trump Has Lost His Ability to Short-Circuit the News," 8 Oct. 2020 Brown said the bylaws need to change so that the chair can only be chair for one election cycle. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit police commissioner: Chairman Willie Bell 'has got to go'," 8 Oct. 2020 The annual Bridges for Music charity cycle -- which typically happens on actual bikes during the annual ADE conference in Amsterdam -- will happen online Wednesday, Oct. 21. Katie Bain, Billboard, "A Bunch of DJs Are Doing a Virtual Bike Ride For Charity: See Who's Spinning," 8 Oct. 2020 Republican Florida Representative Cord Byrd has represented parts of Duval County as a state representative for the past four years, and is up for re-election this cycle. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Pence and Harris camps still negotiating venue measures ahead of debate," 6 Oct. 2020 About a dozen donations were listed as contributions for the 2019-2020 donation cycle but had a transaction date prior to 2019. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biden leads Trump in San Diego County campaign donations," 3 Oct. 2020 Only since Republicans defended the upper chamber for the third straight cycle in 2018 have progressive thinkers begun to call the Senate an undemocratic institution. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "The Left Cares More about Getting What It Wants Than It Cares about ‘Norms’," 28 Sep. 2020 As of Friday, the candidates collectively had raised nearly $5 million in contributions for this election cycle, but only eight had raised over $100,000 individually, according to the AP’s review of Federal Election Commission data. NBC News, "Walmart, Amazon among donors to QAnon-promoting lawmaker," 22 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Approximately 250 to 300 people could cycle through the two-year pilot project program per year. NBC news, "Homeless and facing winter in Minneapolis," 9 Oct. 2020 However, some vehicles require the use of a special ABS scan tool to cycle the pump and valves to purge all the air inside. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Bleed Your Brakes the Right Way," 8 Oct. 2020 Her children will cycle the beginning and the end, and a daughter will play violin to soften the aches. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "DIY marathon will have to do," 1 Oct. 2020 The four bulb colors are easy to cycle through, making the Icon useful for almost any activity from reading and midnight geocaching to search-and-rescue and hunting. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The 11 Headlamps Worth Your Hard-Earned Buck," 15 Sep. 2020 During training camp, the Stars practiced ways to break pucks out with the defensemen leading the rush, and how to cycle in the offensive zone with defensemen involved. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Rick Bowness deserves some credit for getting Stars to the Western Conference Final for first time in 12 years," 5 Sep. 2020 Together, those phenomena allowed the rust to cycle more rapidly through its reproductive process: infecting the leaves of a plant, generating spores, releasing the spores, and finding a new plant on which to grow. Maryn Mckenna, The Atlantic, "Coffee Is Under Attack," 16 Sep. 2020 Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg could jump in the rush, the Stars couldn’t cycle the puck or crash the net. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Four keys to victory for Stars’ Western Conference Final series vs. Vegas Golden Knights," 5 Sep. 2020 Instead of turning a crank, the Maxim machine gun was recoil-operated, using the recoil energy created when the weapon was fired to cycle the action. Matthew Moss, Popular Mechanics, "The History of the Gatling Gun," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for cycle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cycle

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cycle. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for cycle

cycle

noun
How to pronounce cycle (audio)

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
chiefly British : a bicycle or motorcycle

cycle

verb

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

US : 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 How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cyclical (audio) , ˈsik-​li-​ How to pronounce cyclical (audio) \ adjective
cyclically \ -​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cyclically (audio) \ also cyclicly \ ˈsī-​kli-​klē, ˈsik-​li-​ How to pronounce cyclicly (audio) \ 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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