cy·​clic | \ ˈsī-klik How to pronounce cyclic (audio) also ˈsi- How to pronounce cyclic (audio) \
variants: or cyclical \ ˈsī-​kli-​kəl How to pronounce cyclic (audio) , ˈsi-​ \

Definition of cyclic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or being a cycle
b : moving in cycles cyclic time
c : of, relating to, or being a chemical compound containing a ring of atoms
2 cyclic : being a mathematical group that has an element such that every element of the group can be expressed as one of its powers



Definition of cyclic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a helicopter control that governs horizontal thrust by adjusting the pitch of individual rotor blades during their rotation

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Other Words from cyclic


cyclically \ ˈsī-​kli-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cyclic (audio) , ˈsi-​ \ or less commonly cyclicly \ ˈsī-​kli-​klē How to pronounce cyclic (audio) , ˈsi-​ \ adverb

Examples of cyclic in a Sentence

Adjective cyclic changes in the weather the cyclical nature of history
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While Montano's illness has consisted of a similar set of cyclic symptoms, Schiavo's has been one of constant surprises. Anchorage Daily News, "These people have been sick with coronavirus for more than 60 days," 11 June 2020 Aera Energy withdraws plans to significantly expand cyclic steam injection operations in Santa Barbara County. Arlene Martinez, USA TODAY, "In CA: It's gonna be a hard 'no' on that budget, state Senate says. So let's defer and tax," 29 May 2020 Hinduism and Buddhism, for example, adopted a cyclic view of time that suggested the eventual return of the world to its former state; nothing is permanent, and even death is merely a passage to rebirth and renewal. Quanta Magazine, "Arrows of Time," 5 May 2020 Beyond that, the system detects breathing/respiratory signals by detecting cyclic movements of the chest. Dinsa Sachan, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Innovators Are Adapting Existing Technologies to Fight COVID-19," 14 Apr. 2020 With the upcycle of hares there had been an upcycle of raptors — a common occurrence in cyclic prey populations. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Bird dogs and raptors seem to share an ancient connection," 8 Mar. 2020 Lemming populations go through cycles of boom and bust every few years, and these cyclic changes in the local abundance of food periodically influence snowy owl winter movements. Don Lyman,, "Snowy owls are majestic visitors from the Arctic during winter in Massachusetts," 30 Dec. 2019 Flutter is fundamentally different and somehow more disconcerting, requiring only a surrounding flow and no cyclic application of force. Justin Webster, Scientific American, "Harnessing the Invisible Power of “Flutter”," 31 Mar. 2018 This cyclic behavior is intensifying, making scientists wonder if a more explosive eruption is imminent. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Drones Peer inside a Volcano," 1 Nov. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cyclopropenylidene is the second cyclic or closed-loop molecule detected at Titan; the first was benzene in 2003. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Unusual molecule found in atmosphere on Saturn's moon Titan," 28 Oct. 2020 However, the moratorium only covers new permits for high-pressure cyclic steaming and does not affect oil companies with existing permits. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: State to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, and CSU gets a new chancellor," 24 Sep. 2020 Finally, the cyclic permits me to push the helicopter sideways to the left or right, or move forward or backwards. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "What’s it’s like to fly an 11,500-pound experimental helicopter (with zero experience)," 5 Nov. 2019 The 11-year-old has a rare blood disease called chronic cyclic neutropenia, which causes her white cell count to drop dramatically low every three months. Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, "Girl with rare blood disease inspires her peers to meet Covid-19 pandemic with hope, not fear," 25 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cyclic.' 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 cyclic


1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1963, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Cyclic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for cyclic



English Language Learners Definition of cyclic

: happening again and again in the same order : happening in cycles

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