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

There's a new, voiced trailer to check out this week, featuring a glimpse of the language-translation mechanic, the timeline, a smoother-looking walk cycle than the previous builds, and more. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Pillars of Eternity II gets a turn-based mode, Farming Simulator bets big on esports," 25 Jan. 2019 Lucky for them, the wait won't be long: The spring cycle debuts on Monday, February 25. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "When Does 'The Voice' Come Back on TV?," 22 Dec. 2018 Offering more generous revenue-sharing terms could also be enough to entice developers to move their titles to platforms besides Steam, helping to break the chicken-and-egg cycle of developers simply flocking to where the players already are. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Discord Store to offer developers 90 percent of game revenues," 14 Dec. 2018 Netflix's new movie Dumplin' finally breaks that cycle. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix's Dumplin' Has the Plus-Size Heroine I've Been Waiting For," 7 Dec. 2018 After a very obnoxious retrograde cycle, Venus (the planet that governs love and beauty), finally goes direct on Friday, November 16. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 But after Hurricane Maria, Project Enlace aimed to break the cycle by prioritizing better roof construction. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How architects and designers are rebuilding Puerto Rico," 20 Sep. 2018 In June, the Patriots donated more than 70 iPads (wiped of the playbooks, of course) to United South End Settlements, a non-profit organization helping families in the South End of Boston break the cycle of poverty. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 About Child Advocates of Fort Bend Child Advocates of Fort Bend is a non-profit agency dedicated to ending child abuse by providing a voice, healing the hurt, and breaking the cycle of child abuse in Fort Bend County. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Child Advocates of Fort Bend talks to 15,000-plus area students about child abuse prevention," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to reports, the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels met with him Monday, and the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners cycled through Tuesday. Dennis Lin, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres will be last team to make their pitch to Shohei Ohtani," 5 Dec. 2017 Yankees manager Aaron Boone cycled through Jonathan Holder and Stephen Tarpley. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "Catcher on the mound: Romine pitches in Yanks’ blowout loss," 9 Oct. 2018 The heroin dealers rarely remained in one U.S. city for long, and would cycle back and forth to Mexico often. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, "Trump sees ‘carnage’ from America’s drug boom. But major cities are getting safer.," 28 Jan. 2018 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

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

11 Feb 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
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 \

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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