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 Seconds before that periodic check, the hostile bot would post orders to sell ether at a lower price than other sellers. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "Bots Are Manipulating Price of Bitcoin in ‘Wild West of Crypto’," 2 Oct. 2018 Overcast skies may break fairly early in the day, brightening us even amid periodic showers and storms. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Periodic rain likely into the weekend, probably heaviest and most widespread today," 22 June 2018 Like all slot canyons, this one was formed by periodic floods that eroded the sandstone over time. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?," 11 July 2019 His periodic visits with King (a TV host disinclined to press him on policy details or his business history) became pop-culture events. Gilbert Garcia,, "Bitter medicine of Perot’s 1992 campaign wouldn’t sell today," 10 July 2019 Jim Huffman’s periodic 1920s set and lighting design nicely accommodate the creative confusion. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: A hilarious “Hay Fever” at the Attic," 16 Sep. 2019 Drivers should expect periodic lane closures and flaggers directing traffic. oregonlive, "Portland metro Wednesday traffic: All lanes open at scene of fatal crash on I-84 west," 11 Sep. 2019 New Orleans has long been plagued with periodic flooding. Jennifer Calfas, WSJ, "Barry to Test New Orleans’ Levees, Pumps and Gates," 12 July 2019 The front is expected to be in the area until Thursday, bringing warm temperatures, humidity and periodic chances of rain and thunderstorms, Mott said. Marie Fazio,, "Rain, heat to dominate in Chicago area until weekend," 10 Sep. 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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for periodic

The first known use of periodic was in 1650

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More Definitions for periodic


How to pronounce periodic (audio)

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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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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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