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cy·​clic ˈsī-klik How to pronounce cyclic (audio)
ˈsi- How to pronounce cyclic (audio)
variants or cyclical
: of, relating to, or being a cycle
: moving in cycles
cyclic time
: of, relating to, or being a chemical compound containing a ring of atoms
cyclic : being a mathematical group that has an element such that every element of the group can be expressed as one of its powers
cyclically adverb
or less commonly cyclicly


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

Examples of cyclic in a Sentence

Adjective cyclic changes in the weather the cyclical nature of history
Recent Examples on the Web
Voter preferences can be cyclic such that the population prefers A to B and B to C but also prefers C to A. Jack Murtagh, Scientific American, 2 Nov. 2023 These glacial lakes tend to repeatedly fill and drain due to a cyclic opening and closing of a drainage path under the ice. Brianna Rick, The Conversation, 9 Oct. 2023 The cyclic dimming of more distant stars would be too faint for Kepler to measure. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2011 One explanation might be that amid the cyclic loyalty wars that have largely consumed the G.O.P. for the eight years since Trump began his first run for the Presidency, the supply of new ideas has dwindled. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2023 Its cyclic winning structure ensures that no choice uniquely outranks any other. Jack Murtagh, Scientific American, 19 Sep. 2023 The baby was healthy except for suffering from cyclic vomiting syndrome, Bundy said, unable to keep anything down except his mother's breast milk. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 13 Aug. 2023 Moth caterpillars at outbreak levels can strip millions of trees of their leaves in the height of the growing season, but these outbreaks are sporadic or cyclic; most years spongy moths are sparse and do no visible damage. Richard S. Ostfeld, STAT, 31 July 2023 The baby was healthy except for suffering from cyclic vomiting syndrome, Bundy said, unable to keep anything except his mother’s breast milk down. Andrew Selsky,, 27 July 2023
Researchers sorted 114 people into four groups and asked them to practice mindful meditation or one breathing exercise — box breathing, cyclic hyperventilation or cyclic sighing — for five minutes a day for 28 days. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 7 Mar. 2023 New cyclic models get around the problem, Kinney and one of his colleagues have found, by requiring that the universe expands by a lot with each cycle. James Riordon, Scientific American, 24 May 2023 Over the past two decades, Chevron and other oil companies have earned millions harvesting oil from spills linked to high-pressure cyclic steaming, according to a recent investigation by The Desert Sun and ProPublica. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, 24 Sep. 2020 What the governor didn't directly address was what the state planned to do about the process of steam fracking or high-pressure cyclic steaming, in which scalding steam, without chemicals, is injected below ground to fracture formations. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, 24 Sep. 2020 Reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine, Krause says the cyclic and nonspecific symptoms of B. miyamotoi are problematic for doctors trying to identify the disease and for patients seeking treatment. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2014 These cyclic dinucleotides are the second messengers that activate STING. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Cyclopropenylidene is the second cyclic or closed-loop molecule detected at Titan; the first was benzene in 2003. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 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, 24 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cyclic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



borrowed from French cyclique, going back to Middle French, "of a narrative cycle," borrowed from Latin cyclicus "of a cycle of epics" (Late Latin also, "circular, encyclopedic, recurrent [of a sickness, fever, etc.]), borrowed from Greek kyklikós "of a circle, circular, of a cycle of epics," from kýklos "circle, wheel" + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at wheel entry 1


short for cyclic pitch control

First Known Use


1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cyclic was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near cyclic

Cite this Entry

“Cyclic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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