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

Senate Bill 1539 requires a periodic review of the program. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "A year later, lawmakers taking $56 million from feds for child care," 24 June 2019 Eleven's periodic uncertainty with romance and fashion, as much tied to Hopper sheltering her now as to her laboratory upbringing, accentuates Brown's comic timing and offers necessary interludes between nosebleeds. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Stranger Things' Season 3: TV Review," 30 June 2019 Wooden butcher-block and soapstone can also be left unsealed, but may benefit from the periodic application of mineral oil. Tim Mckeough, New York Times, "The Kitchen Counter Challenge," 28 June 2019 On Monday, Tooze was tucked under a Pendleton blanket, squeezing a nurse’s hand, adrift in one of the periodic dizzy spells that ruin breakfast., "The back story on Independence Day: Steve Duin," 28 June 2019 The popular periodic celebrations of vegetarian and vegan cuisine give metro Detroit restaurants, food trucks and caterers a chance to show off their meat-free creations and connect with folks devoted to healthful living. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: Golf tales from David Feherty, Balloonfest, festivals in Trenton and Taylor," 26 June 2019 That's a nod to the fact that Amazon's website had periodic outages last year on Prime Day. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Target and eBay want to give Amazon's Prime Day a run for its money," 26 June 2019 The opera takes a turn into savage satire with periodic appearances by Donald Trump, who notoriously called for the boys to be put to death. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Meredith Monk’s “ATLAS” and the L.A. Phil’s Extraordinary Season," 24 June 2019 The relationship seems to have continued on a periodic basis, opportunities to bring Gosh to justice duly passed up. Justin Lynch, The New Republic, "The West’s Complicity in Sudan’s Massacres," 18 June 2019

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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Statistics for periodic

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for periodic

The first known use of periodic was in 1650

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on periodic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for periodic

Spanish Central: Translation of periodic

Nglish: Translation of periodic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of periodic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on periodic

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to complain fretfully

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