water cycle


: hydrologic cycle
In the water cycle, water evaporates, condenses, falls as precipitation, and eventually evaporates again.Timothy Cooney et al.
As they have for thousands of years, the rhythms of wildlife migration and reproduction as well as human agriculture and grazing activities are inseparable from that of the yearly water cycle.Peter Warshall
… run by solar energy that helps cause winds, energizes plants, and powers the water cycle.David M. Armstrong et al.

Examples of water cycle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The water cycle, nitrogen cycle, the oxygen cycle, the carbon cycle—dust is feeding into all of these. Matt Simon, WIRED, 27 Nov. 2023 The CubeSat will also investigate the moon's (very limited) water cycle, to help scientsts better understand how water is released from the lunar surface into what passes for the moon's atmosphere, and reabsorbed again. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Nov. 2022 Climate change is making the water cycle more unstable by contributing to longer and more frequent droughts, diminishing the snowpack that feeds rivers in the spring, as well as causing more severe flooding during extreme precipitation, Ortiz said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 21 Jan. 2024 Related Story The Water From Your Tap Is an Engineering Marvel All of this rampant over usage would be bad enough, but the Earth’s natural water cycle isn't replacing groundwater like in the good ole days. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 1 Sep. 2023 Research has shown that climate change is intensifying the water cycle, bringing more intense and frequent droughts, as well as more intense rainfall and floods. Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2023 The switch from La Nina in 2022 to El Nino conditions in 2023 will likely also have a major impact on water cycles around the world, the researchers said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 12 Oct. 2023 Understanding this and other changes in the water cycle is important for more than preparing for disasters. Mathew Barlow, The Conversation, 11 July 2023 The global water cycle is amplifying faster than expected. Alexander Sammon, Harper's Magazine, 25 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'water cycle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of water cycle was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near water cycle

Cite this Entry

“Water cycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20cycle. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

water cycle


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