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

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 The periodic loudspeaker announcements about activities on board are in Ukrainian, too. Rick Noack And Sandra Mehl, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 During the pandemic, there had been periodic social-media attacks about my writing, by Little Pinks and others. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 The more subtle risk is of nuclear blackmail, which was a periodic X factor in Cold War struggles between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, 9 May 2022 It’s certainly true that this short book contains many of his trademarks: discursive and periodic sentences, arcane jargon, endless self-analysis. Jonathan Russell Clark, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 Within a decade, City Hall was making periodic police sweeps to clear out drug dealers in response to complaints from transit riders. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 June 2021 At first the pig heart was functioning, and the Maryland hospital issued periodic updates that Bennett seemed to be slowly recovering. STAT, 10 Mar. 2022 At first the pig heart was functioning, and the Maryland hospital issued periodic updates that Bennett seemed to be slowly recovering. Fox News, 9 Mar. 2022 In addition to reporting major cybersecurity events within four days after uncovering them, companies would be required to provide periodic updates about previous incidents. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near periodic



periodic acid

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Statistics for periodic

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Periodic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for periodic


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

More from Merriam-Webster on periodic

Nglish: Translation of periodic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of periodic for Arabic Speakers


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