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

Newsletter Sign-up Grounded in research showing periodic repetition and reminders are good ways to learn new material, the platforms suit a generation of digital natives who prefer checking an app over sitting through a PowerPoint class. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Robots That Manage the Managers," 15 Apr. 2019 Engine manufacturers and airlines conduct periodic inspections on planes designed to spot any evidence of cracks or weakening of the metal due to fatigue. Julie Johnsson,, "Southwest rushes engine checks amid first-of-its-kind crisis," 18 Apr. 2018 The agency also conducts periodic inspections of companies’ pesticide equipment and records, agency spokesman Bruce Pokarney said. Elon Glucklich, The Seattle Times, "Rural Lane County residents fight aerial herbicide spraying," 11 Feb. 2018 Starting in 2008, Merck provided the FDA with periodic safety updates on studies linking long-term use of bisphosphonate (the major compound in Fosamax) with atypical femoral fractures and sought to revise its label. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Fighting a Tort Plague," 6 Jan. 2019 Your periodic reminder that Trump's culture of open corruption could not happen without a GOP rubber stamp Congress. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke to the oil and gas industry: “Our government should work for you”," 21 Sep. 2018 The rover’s batteries are likely so low that only a clock is still working, to wake the spacecraft for periodic power-level checks, according to officials. Washington Post, "NASA rover knocked out as gigantic dust storm envelops Mars," 13 June 2018 According to Izvestia the MiGs will also escort Russian bombers during their periodic flights near Alaskan airspace. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Resumes Fighter Patrols Over the North Pole," 6 Feb. 2019 Inspectors for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have started to embargo products that contain cannabidiol, or CBD, during regular, periodic restaurant inspections. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "NYC Cracks Down on Businesses Selling CBD-Infused Food and Drinks," 5 Feb. 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

27 Apr 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

What made you want to look up periodic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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