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 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

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

But because the law takes effect during the election cycle, the commission can’t make rules during election season, according to spokeswoman Kim Bradford. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "‘Gray money’: New Washington law to lift the cloak on PAC funders," 19 May 2019 Lenovo officials said the hinge will be tested to exceed the duty cycles of its Yoga laptops by 2X. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Here's why Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 foldable tablet may have really killed the laptop for me," 13 May 2019 Those young activists are looking ahead further than the next election cycle. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 In fact, of the $41.9 million raised by Democrats in this election cycle, roughly 30 percent, or $13.16 million is funding for O'Rourke. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Beto O'Rourke is out-raising Ted Cruz. Other Texas Democrats? Not so much.," 10 July 2018 As of May 19, for example, the California Teachers Association had spent more than $5.2 million in political contributions in this election cycle. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "California public worker unions face tough times after Supreme Court ruling," 27 June 2018 Any early spending could pay dividends for the GOP in 2020, even if those efforts aren’t successful, forcing Democrats opponents to expend precious resources later in the campaign cycle to defend what should be safer Democratic states. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump campaign eyes chances to vie for states lost in 2016," 14 Apr. 2019 The organization’s independent expenditure committee funneled more than $37 million in the 2018 election cycle alone. Rebecca Gale, Marie Claire, "Elise Stefanik Is Going to Bring Women Back to the GOP," 25 Mar. 2019 Filings show that O’Donnell has donated more than $90,000 to 50 different federal candidates and committees during the 2017-18 election cycle. Sasha Savitsky, Fox News, "Dinesh D'Souza got a felony conviction for illegal campaign donations; will Rosie O'Donnell get same treatment?," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chris Harrison has been commandeering the program since 2015, but it's cycled through a handful of hosts over the course of its two-decades long total run. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Has Been Cancelled After 20 Years," 25 May 2019 Coach Ekapol's Facebook page is packed with photos and video of him and what appear to be members of his team practicing, cycling the area's mountain roads and inner tubing on a river. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Thai soccer coach, 25-year-old former Buddhist monk, hailed 'hero' for keeping boys alive," 10 July 2018 Coach Ekapol's Facebook page is packed with photos and video of him and what appear to be members of his team practicing, cycling the area's mountain roads and inner tubing on a river. Tassanee Vejpongsa, chicagotribune.com, "Thai soccer players missing inside flooded cave: 'Where is my child?'," 26 June 2018 Coach Ekapol’s Facebook page is packed with photos and video of him and what appear to be members of his team practicing, cycling the area’s mountain roads and inner tubing on a river. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Seattle Times, "Missing Thai soccer team known for adventures together," 26 June 2018 Coach Ekapol’s Facebook page is packed with photos and video of him and what appear to be members of his team practicing, cycling the area’s mountain roads and inner tubing on a river. Washington Post, "Missing Thai soccer team known for adventures together," 26 June 2018 With Onwuzurike apparently limited, Josiah Bronson and John Clark started on the defensive line, and redshirt freshmen Sam Taimani and Tuli Letuligasenoa both cycled in as well. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Observations from the UW Huskies’ sixth practice of spring football," 12 Apr. 2019 As the video above demonstrates, the new map also has allowed planetary scientists to determine the thickness of the Martian crust and measure the amount of material that cycles between the poles with the changes of the seasons. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "New Map of Mars' Gravity Reveals Its Molten Outer Core," 21 Mar. 2016 Through it all, members of the public who obtained tickets lined up outside the hearing room, the Senate’s largest, and were cycled in and out by the Capitol police. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Kavanaugh Hearing: Not for Children, but Hottest Ticket in Town," 7 Sep. 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

3 Jun 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

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