pe·​ri·​od·​ic | \ ˌpir-ē-ˈä-dik How to pronounce periodic (audio) \

Definition of periodic

1a : occurring or recurring at regular intervals
b : occurring repeatedly from time to time
2a : consisting of or containing a series of repeated stages, processes, or digits : cyclic periodic decimals a periodic vibration
b : being a function any value of which recurs at regular intervals
3 : expressed in or characterized by periodic sentences

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Examples of periodic in a Sentence

He takes the car in for periodic oil changes. sent out periodic reminders about the office dress code
Recent Examples on the Web Wood: Wood generally requires more maintenance than other materials, because periodic treatment is necessary to maintain its color and finish. Washington Post, "How to choose outdoor furniture that will last," 29 Apr. 2021 The Mediterranean nation’s Ministry of Culture and Sports has overseen periodic and ongoing renovations at the ancient Greek heritage site since 1975, according to its website. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Proposed Renovations to Greece’s Acropolis Are So Controversial," 29 Apr. 2021 Whereas every other aspect of a campaign is judged on Election Day, fundraising is judged quarterly, or in some cases monthly, due to state and federal laws requiring periodic public disclosures. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Washington's new 'Indispensable Man'," 22 Apr. 2021 The country also has a tradition of periodic emergency preparedness exercises. USA Today, "Tracking COVID-19 vaccine distribution by state: How many people have been vaccinated in the US?," 22 Apr. 2021 The second installment in a series of articles based on periodic conversations with Reps. Carl O. Sherman, D-Desoto, and Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth. Alex Briseno, Dallas News, "Legislative Journal: Voting bills spark full-contact politics, Bo’s Law brings bipartisan support," 14 Apr. 2021 The result was that the only manifestation of a filibuster were periodic cloture votes. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Case for the Talking Filibuster," 13 Apr. 2021 The periodic calls of seagulls gliding overhead and cars driving by might have been a distraction under different circumstances. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: La Jolla Music Society soars with outdoor concert by Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Philippe Quint," 12 Apr. 2021 If the history of AHRQ is any indicator, periodic attempts by future Administrations or the legislative branch to put a health technology assessment entity on the chopping block may wind up undermining its continuity and therefore viability. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, "What Could Biden’s Possible Bid For A National Health Technology Assessment Entity Look Like?," 2 Mar. 2021

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

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for periodic

Time Traveler

The first known use of periodic was in 1650

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Statistics for periodic

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Periodic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for periodic



English Language Learners Definition of periodic

: happening regularly over a period of time


pe·​ri·​od·​ic | \ ˌpir-ē-ˈä-dik How to pronounce periodic (audio) \

Kids Definition of periodic

: occurring regularly over a period of time


pe·​ri·​od·​ic | \ ˌpir-ē-ˈäd-ik How to pronounce periodic (audio) \

Medical Definition of periodic

: occurring or recurring at regular intervals periodic epidemics

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