cy·​clic | \ ˈsī-klik also ˈsi- How to pronounce cyclic (audio) \
variants: or cyclical \ ˈsī-​kli-​kəl How to pronounce cyclical (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 cyclically (audio) , ˈsi-​ \ or less commonly cyclicly \ ˈsī-​kli-​klē How to pronounce cyclicly (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 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 By building on this idea, volcanologists could help predict more precisely when those cyclic eruptions will come. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Drones Peer inside a Volcano," 1 Nov. 2017 The scientists used a technique called protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to test for the presence of CWD prions in soil and water taken from mineral licks in south-central Wisconsin. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW researchers verify chronic wasting disease prions at mineral lick sites," 2 May 2018 High import and transportation costs make seeds and fertilizer more expensive than anywhere else on the planet, while cyclic droughts pose a serious threat to crops production in a region where 98 percent is rain-fed. Marcello Rossi, Smithsonian, "How Climate Change is Fueling Innovation in Kenya," 12 Feb. 2018 That’s a little bit cyclic as well, with the tight end production. Jeff Zrebiec,, "Ravens want to get Benjamin Watson more involved after tight end was shut out against Pittsburgh," 15 Dec. 2017 Hunters could see dead deer as a result of the disease this hunting season, the commission said in a news alert, but should know that the recent outbreak is cyclic and the deer population will rebound. #TBT There's no season like deer season. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Something is biting and killing North Carolina’s white-tailed deer," 20 Sep. 2017

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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Time Traveler for cyclic

Time Traveler

The first known use of cyclic was in 1794

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Statistics for cyclic

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cyclic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cyclic


How to pronounce cyclic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cyclic

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cyclic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cyclic

Spanish Central: Translation of cyclic

Nglish: Translation of cyclic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cyclic for Arabic Speakers

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