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

After going 3-for-3 in Thursday’s win and nearly hitting for the cycle, the youngster doubled twice and singled in Friday’s win. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood Blue All-Stars defeat Buffalo, White toppled by Elgin at Pinto 7U World Series," 12 July 2019 The thing that is so frustrating is that all of these deaths, which go uninvestigated, are a headline for maybe one news cycle. Judy Berman, Time, "‘The Tears Were Real.’ Ryan Murphy and Janet Mock on Pose’s Most Emotional Episode Yet," 11 July 2019 Houston Dash Current record: 3-4-4, 13 points, seventh place U.S. players: None No U.S. players in France are part of the Dash, though goalkeeper Jane Campbell figures to have every chance at working her way into the picture for the coming cycle. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "Spotlight Shines Bright on NWSL After USA's Women's World Cup Triumph," 11 July 2019 McConnell's camp has raised more than $11M for this election cycle so far. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: RNC sends cease-and-desist to fundraising site," 10 July 2019 If the county approves and the pilot succeeds, San Diego County could replace many of its polling places with voting centers for the 2022 election cycle. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County supervisors weigh a new way for the public to vote," 8 July 2019 The Nets hit for the cycle and exceeded their wildest dreams. oregonlive.com, "NBA free agency 2019: Damian Lillard, Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant, New York Knicks among winners and losers after Day 1," 1 July 2019 Yet for the five-day news cycle and all the this-is-wonderful-for-basketball sentiments, important questions remain. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: UConn’s official move to the Big East finally opens the door for questions to be answered," 27 June 2019 Unsurprisingly, some Republican state lawmakers have already expressed interest in using citizenship data for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "Advocates Want Everyone Counted, No Matter the Fate of the Citizenship Question," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Margaret Armiger, a Conservative councillor, described her father, in the early days of the Second World War, cycling more than a hundred miles to find a job at the steelworks. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Death of British Steel and the Myth of the Good Brexit," 10 July 2019 But the buzz wore off as losses continued and the company cycled through chief executives. Erin Griffith, New York Times, "A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel," 28 June 2019 The club has not found a solution to its fifth spot and has cycled through pitchers from Triple-A Reno to the bullpen. Jenna Ortiz, azcentral, "Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver's latest MRI reveals good news," 24 June 2019 The tests, which included lactate threshold, efficiency, and VO2max measurements, had become a standard part of his routine since switching his focus from alpine skiing to cycling three years earlier. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "The Story of the Cyclist with the Highest-Ever VO2max," 20 June 2019 Seven transgender women live in the house, although others cycle through for a night or two during emergencies. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "Police investigating ‘possible hate crime’ after transgender woman assaulted, followed home in D.C.," 20 June 2019 Flatiron’s Communication Director Korrie Bartels said Tuesday the church would cycle several of its teachers and co-pastors for weekend sermons in Burgen’s absence. Anthony Hahn, The Denver Post, "Flatirons Community Church’s Pastor Jim Burgen to take six-month sabbatical," 11 June 2019 All participants, who abstained from alcohol for the duration of the study, cycled through three test diets: red meat diet, white meat diet and then a no meat diet. Susan Scutti, CNN, "White meat is just as bad for you as red beef when it comes to your cholesterol level, study says," 4 June 2019 Smuggling networks rent houses or mobile homes, cover the windows and begin cycling migrants through dwellings that often are filthy and packed. Nicholas Kulish, The Seattle Times, "Human smuggling cat-and-mouse game plays out beyond the U.S.-Mexico border," 9 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

15 Jul 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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