cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an interval of time during which a sequence of a recurring succession of events or phenomena is completed a 4-year cycle of growth and development
2a : a course or series of events or operations that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point … the common cycle of birth, growth, senescence, and death.— T. C. Schneirla and Gerard Piel
b : one complete performance of a vibration, electric oscillation, current alternation, or other periodic process
c : a permutation of a set of ordered elements in which each element takes the place of the next and the last becomes first
d : a takeoff and landing of an airplane
3 : a circular or spiral arrangement: such as
a : an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens
4 : a long period of time : age
5a : a group of creative works (such as poems, plays, or songs) treating the same theme a cycle of poems about unrequited love
b : a series of narratives dealing typically with the exploits of a legendary hero the Arthurian cycle
6a : bicycle
b : tricycle
7 : the series of a single, double, triple, and home run hit in any order by one player during one baseball game

cycle

verb
cycled; cycling\ ˈsī-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to pass through a cycle The menu cycles through all the options. Because the traditional HVAC system cycles on and off—and is powered down when you leave—relief is inconsistent at best.— Sarah Littleton
b : to recur in cycles Freezing temperatures … aren't the problem. It's when temperatures cycle between freezing and thaws, causing pavement to contract and expand … that can create larger issues.— Jonathan Oosting
2 : to ride a cycle specifically : bicycle She cycles to work.

transitive verb

: to cause to go through a cycle The fact that it [the pump] runs constantly may be a bad sign. It may be cycling the water, not removing it.Popular Mechanics Everything is constantly cycled in nature. There is abundant waste in nature, just as there is in industry, but in nature waste constantly flows back into living systems.— Paul Hawken and William McDonough

Other Words from cycle

Verb

cycler \ ˈsī-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce cycle (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for cycle

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of cycle in a Sentence

Noun We have to wait for the dishwasher's wash and dry cycles to end. the spin cycle on a washing machine He rode his cycle into town. Verb The water is cycled back into the system after it has been used. The water cycles back into the system.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But infecting more people in cold weather is far from the only once-a-year cycle a disease can settle into. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 20 Nov. 2021 Mace’s letter on Oct. 24 led to widespread coverage in the lawmakers’ local newspapers, feeding the biggest cycle of anti-Fauci online chatter since the #beaglegate campaign began. Yasmeen Abutaleb And Beth Reinhard, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Nov. 2021 The Beavers are also set to host several massive offensive and defensive linemen, while hoping to close out the 2022 cycle with some talented defensive backs. oregonlive, 19 Nov. 2021 Corazón de Vida seeks to end child abandonment by breaking the cycle of poverty. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 But the revolution was just the beginning of a transformation Sudan will have to undergo to stop the cycle of displacement. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 StandUp for Kids is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of youth homelessness in local communities. Arielle Mitropoulos, ABC News, 19 Nov. 2021 Despite this, the brand claimed the Chinese version of the EV has a respectable range of 311 miles per charge, according country’s CLTC testing cycle. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 19 Nov. 2021 The Department of Energy estimates that only 10% of a washing machine’s energy is used to power the wash cycle -- heating the water takes up the other 90%. Shelley K. Mesch, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now the Nets basically can cycle through their power forwards for the agents, from LaMarcus to Paul Millsap to Blake Griffin. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, 4 Sep. 2021 The men just cycle the same five jackets and shirts. Rebecca Makkai, Harper's Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 Special forces would cycle in-and-out of country every few months. James Stavridis, Time, 16 Aug. 2021 Although a lack of experience is often still evident, players like Kim and Washington can cycle into the team more fluidly. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, 24 June 2021 Gasoline and steel don't cycle carbon back into the soil within a decade, while grass and hoofs do. Brian Devore, Star Tribune, 28 Apr. 2021 Unlike a Fitbit or Apple Watch, there's not much digital screen space, just a tiny circle that can cycle through information like notifications and daily physical activity stats. Hunter Fenollol, Popular Mechanics, 7 Oct. 2021 That’s how many full-time jail staff commute between their communities and work each day, according to the study, highlighting that around 200,000 detainees also cycle through U.S. jail facilities every week. Jemima Mcevoy, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Its defense forced the Owls to cycle between three quarterbacks, neither of whom proved effective. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cycle.' 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 cycle

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1842, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cycle

Noun and Verb

Middle English cicle, from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kyklos circle, wheel, cycle — more at wheel

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Time Traveler for cycle

Time Traveler

The first known use of cycle was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near cycle

cyclazocine

cycle

cycle billing

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Statistics for cycle

Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cycle. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for cycle

cycle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a set of events or actions that happen again and again in the same order : a repeating series of events or actions
: a set of regular and repeated actions that are done by a machine as part of a longer process
: a bicycle or motorcycle

cycle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to go through a repeated process or to cause (something) to go through a repeated process
: to ride a bicycle

cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

Kids Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period of time taken up by a series of events or actions that repeat themselves again and again in the same order the cycle of the seasons
2 : a complete round or series The dishwasher started its drying cycle.

cycle

verb
cycled; cycling

Kids Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ride a bicycle or motorcycle

cycle

noun
cy·​cle | \ ˈsī-kəl How to pronounce cycle (audio) \

Medical Definition of cycle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a recurring series of events: as
a(1) : a series of stages through which an organism tends to pass once in a fixed order the common cycle of birth, growth, senescence and death— T. C. Schneirla & Gerard Piel also : a series of stages through which a population of organisms tends to pass more or less in synchrony the mosquito-hatching cycle — see life cycle
(2) : a series of physiological, biochemical, or psychological stages that recur in the same individual — see cardiac cycle, menstrual cycle krebs cycle
b : one complete performance of a vibration, electric oscillation, current alternation, or other periodic process
c : a series of ecological stages through which a substance tends to pass and which usually but not always leads back to the starting point the cycle of nitrogen in the living world

Other Words from cycle

cyclic \ ˈsī-​klik also ˈsik-​lik \ or cyclical \ ˈsī-​kli-​kəl How to pronounce cycle (audio) , ˈsik-​li-​ How to pronounce cycle (audio) \ adjective
cyclically \ -​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cycle (audio) \ also cyclicly \ ˈsī-​kli-​klē, ˈsik-​li-​ How to pronounce cycle (audio) \ adverb

cycle

intransitive verb
cycled; cycling

Medical Definition of cycle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to undergo the estrous cycle the mare has begun cycling

More from Merriam-Webster on cycle

Nglish: Translation of cycle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cycle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cycle

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