recycle

1 of 2

verb

re·​cy·​cle (ˌ)rē-ˈsī-kəl How to pronounce recycle (audio)
recycled; recycling; recycles

transitive verb

1
: to pass again through a series of changes or treatments: such as
a
: to process (something, such as liquid body waste, glass, or cans) in order to regain material for human use
c
: to reuse or make (a substance) available for reuse for biological activities through natural processes of biochemical degradation or modification
green plants recycling the residue of forest fires
recycle ADP back to ATP
2
: to adapt to a new use : alter
3
: to bring back : reuse
recycles a number of good anecdotes Larry McMurtry
4
: to make ready for reuse
a plan to recycle vacant tenements
5
: to reuse (money) by investing especially in an area or enterprise that will allow the investment to return as new profits
recycle petrodollars

intransitive verb

1
: to return to an earlier point in a countdown
2
: to return to an original condition so that operation can begin again
used of an electronic device
3
: to process materials or substances (such as liquid body waste, glass, or cans) in order to regain material for human use
As a rule, Welch does not recycle. Its roadsides are littered with paper bags from the town's half-dozen fast-food outlets.
recyclable adjective or noun
recycler noun

recycle

2 of 2

noun

: the process of recycling

Example Sentences

Verb They're studying various ways to recycle garbage into fuel. The doormat is made from recycled tires. Town residents are required to recycle cans and bottles. We make efforts to recycle. The author recycles a familiar story in her latest novel.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Some stores, such as hardware stores, will collect and recycle these bulbs as well. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Oct. 2022 The winning games in the year-end competition revolved around a penguin navigating a melting ice field, collecting rainwater and bottles to recycle, and harvesting crops to donate. Noah Smith, Washington Post, 8 July 2022 Finally, with more customers turning their attention to businesses’ sustainability efforts, using reverse logistics processes to collect and recycle more unusable goods can have a positive impact on your brand’s reputation. Scott Fletcher, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Engineers consulted with one of the Wuxi factory’s equipment manufacturers, finding a way to collect and recycle some of the electricity produced when batteries discharge. Phred Dvorak, WSJ, 12 Feb. 2022 Some large national retailers (like REI, Patagonia, and The North Face) already collect and properly recycle polybags at their retail locations. Kristin Hostetter, Outside Online, 15 Oct. 2021 And then there’s a place in Willowby called North Coast Recycling that actually does recycle them. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 8 Nov. 2022 So as pumpkins are tossed out or begin to rot, what’s the best way to reuse or recycle them? Karl Schneider, USA TODAY, 1 Nov. 2022 The plastics industry says there is a way to help solve the crisis of plastic waste plaguing the planet's oceans, beaches and lands— recycle it, chemically. Jennifer Mcdermott, ajc, 21 Oct. 2022
Noun
Residents who recycle will place all items in the large blue bin that has been provided by the city. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 13 Oct. 2021 Plastic packaging, multi-layered films, bags, polystyrene foam and other hard-to-recycle plastic products are piling up in landfills and in the environment, or going to incinerators. Jennifer Mcdermott, ajc, 21 Oct. 2022 Plastic packaging, multi-layered films, bags, polystyrene foam and other hard-to-recycle plastic products are piling up in landfills and in the environment, or going to incinerators. Jennifer Mcdermott, Fortune, 21 Oct. 2022 Plastic packaging, multi-layered films, bags, polystyrene foam and other hard-to-recycle plastic products are piling up in landfills and in the environment, or going to incinerators. Jennifer Mcdermott, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Oct. 2022 Instead, the program’s goal is about simply doing the right thing, being a better steward of the environment, and offering customers a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Eric Smith, Outside Online, 21 May 2021 Ancheer is advising consumers to remove the batteries and dispose of them at an appropriate waste or recycle facility. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2022 Moving offers an opportunity to evaluate your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, toss or recycle. Nicole Anzia, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2022 Countless CPG firms are also implementing the collect and recycle mentality. Forbes, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recycle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

Verb

1925, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recycle was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near recycle

Cite this Entry

“Recycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recycle. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

recycle

verb

re·​cy·​cle
(ˈ)rē-ˈsī-kəl
: to process (as liquid body waste, glass, or cans) in order to regain materials for human use

More from Merriam-Webster on recycle

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