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
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 How to pronounce cycling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce cycler (audio) \ 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

The content of the post certainly makes for an interesting news cycle, but Bezos is hardly the first to expose his blackmailers. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Before Jeff Bezos, Alexander Hamilton Outsmarted His Blackmailers with the Reynolds Pamphlet," 8 Feb. 2019 Use the end of the month to start preparing for a new cycle. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 The Swirling Saucers spin cycle isn’t too intense but can be mildly disorienting. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "What we didn't tell you about Disney's Toy Story Land," 5 July 2018 According to experts, people need a certain amount of melatonin for a good night's sleep, which is why the longer, darker days of winter are a no-no for your cycle. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Research Says This is Actually the Worst Month For Your Sleep Cycle," 28 Feb. 2019 How long that interval changes depends on how bright the Cepheid is: the brighter the star, the longer its brightness cycle. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Astronomers Discover the Milky Way Is More Twisted and Warped Than We Thought," 5 Feb. 2019 The voices of these men continue to ring loudly in our collective ears — their anger and confusion at being accused dominate our news cycles. Anna North, Vox, "Women made historic gains in 2018. But in so many ways, it was still the Year of the Man.," 27 Dec. 2018 On Friday, November 16, just as Venus concludes its retrograde cycle, Mercury begins its own. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 The Me Too Movement has been a pretty powerful thing and the Democrats have been pretty powerful in aligning themselves after the Harvey thing kind of went through its cycle with the women who claim to be subject to abuse. Fox News, "Lynne Patton responds to Omarosa audio tape," 15 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When the orbital influences cycled back, the planet returned to a glacial state. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers suggest we could tip into a hothouse Earth—here’s what that means," 10 Aug. 2018 The handicapping challenge is to predict which horse is cycling up — that is, which one is going to improve and maybe even run his best race. Joe Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Justify goes for Triple Crown, but is he worth the wager?," 6 June 2018 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

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

25 Mar 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 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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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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