recycle

verb
re·​cy·​cle | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈsī-kəl \
recycled; recycling; recycles

Definition of recycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

recycle

noun

Definition of recycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: the process of recycling

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Other Words from recycle

Verb

recyclability \ ri-​ˌsī-​k(ə-​)lə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
recyclable \ ri-​ˈsī-​k(ə-​)lə-​bəl \ adjective or noun
recycler \ ri-​ˈsī-​k(ə-​)lər \ noun

Synonyms for recycle

Synonyms: Verb

reclaim, recover

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Examples of recycle in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kate is well known for recycling her favorite looks, with Catherine Walker being one of her go-to brands. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears a Polka Dot Dress with a Catherine Walker Coat to Attend Church," 6 Jan. 2019 These organizations have pledged to reuse, recycle, or compost 100% of their plastic packaging by 2025. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "You Can't Just "Clean Up" the Plastic in the Ocean. Here's Why.," 18 Dec. 2018 The estate places a huge emphasis on recycling, conservation, and forestry, and is a sanctuary for wildlife. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "Inside Queen Elizabeth II's Private Home at Sandringham Castle," 13 Dec. 2018 But, like sister-in-law Kate Middleton, Meghan also recycles a good amount of her heels, mixing and matching her favorites with her midi dresses. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The 6 Brands of Shoes Meghan Markle Always Has in Her Closet," 10 Dec. 2018 Demolishers will recycle 150 tons of structural steel braces that WSDOT installed since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, where columns sank near Yesler Way. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s big demolition spectacle: How crews plan to pulverize the Alaskan Way Viaduct," 5 Dec. 2018 Of the plastics humans have produced since the 1950s, just as commercial plastics became marketed and readily available to consumers, only 9% of it has been recycled, Greenpeace reports. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "These Are the Ways Plastics Can Mess Up Your Body," 19 Dec. 2018 What’s more, a shocking 91% of plastics aren’t recycled – and more than 8 million tons of it are dumped into the ocean each year. Good Housekeeping, "Frequently Asked Questions About Good Housekeeping's Sustainability Awards," 7 Nov. 2018 The makers of paper cups defend their products, saying the focus should be on ensuring they are properly recycled. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "A New Target in the Fight Against Plastic: Paper Cups," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And why kind-of, sort-of recycle a look at a huge event like a wedding? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Has Worn Her Alexander McQueen Gown From Eugenie's Wedding Before," 13 Oct. 2018 Take a look through your recycle bin — bottle caps, jar lids and other plastic containers make great dashboard dials, buttons and knobs. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "4 Great Halloween Costumes From the PM Archives," 11 Oct. 2018 Due to the Memorial Day holiday, trash, recycle and bulky collections during the week of May 28 to June 2 will be one day late after the Monday holiday. Courant Community, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 21 May 2018 Using their iPads, the students had to decide which items — a banana peel, or plastic bottle or a milk carton, as examples — could be disposed in a landfill, in the recycle or in a compost bin. Deborah Kadin, chicagotribune.com, "'They were the rock stars': River Forest teens honored for boosting students' waste disposal practices," 10 July 2018 Due to the Memorial Day holiday, trash, recycle and bulky collections during the week of May 28 to June 2 will be one day late after the Monday holiday. Courant Community, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 21 May 2018 Due to the Memorial Day holiday, trash, recycle and bulky collections during the week of May 28 to June 2 will be one day late after the Monday holiday. Courant Community, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 21 May 2018 There are lots of things people can do to live a greener lifestyle: switch to compact florescent light bulbs; trade up to an electric car; cut down on plastic garbage and recycle as much as possible. Grant Butler, OregonLive.com, "Earth Day is a perfect time to look at food choices and how they affect the planet," 16 Apr. 2018 The next month, the inspector general’s office seized the worker’s computer and conducted a forensic analysis of more than 1 million image files on the hard drive found in desktop folders, the recycle bin and emails, the report said. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "CTA manager resigns after nude photos found on his computer," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of recycle

Verb

1925, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1926, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about recycle

Dictionary Entries near recycle

recusator

recuse

recut

recycle

red

Red

redact

Statistics for recycle

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recycle

The first known use of recycle was in 1925

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More Definitions for recycle

recycle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of recycle

: to make something new from (something that has been used before)

: to send (used newspapers, bottles, cans, etc.) to a place where they are made into something new

: to use (something) again

recycle

verb
re·​cy·​cle | \ ˌrē-ˈsī-kəl \
recycled; recycling

Kids Definition of recycle

: to process (as paper, glass, or cans) in order to regain or reuse materials

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More from Merriam-Webster on recycle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recycle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recycle

Spanish Central: Translation of recycle

Nglish: Translation of recycle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recycle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on recycle

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