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[sahy-klik, sik-lik] /ˈsaɪ klɪk, ˈsɪk lɪk/
revolving or recurring in cycles; characterized by recurrence in cycles.
of, relating to, or constituting a cycle or cycles.
Chemistry. of or relating to a compound that contains a closed chain or ring of atoms (contrasted with acyclic).
  1. arranged in whorls, as the parts of a flower.
  2. (of a flower) having the parts so arranged.
  1. pertaining to an algebraic system in which all the elements of a group are powers of one element.
  2. (of a set of elements) arranged as if on a circle, so that the first element follows the last.
Origin of cyclic
1785-95; < Latin cyclicus < Greek kyklikós circular. See cycle, -ic
Related forms
[sahy-klis-i-tee] /saɪˈklɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noncyclic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cyclic
Historical Examples
  • There is clearly some cyclic factor in the situation which we do not yet understand.

  • Again some cyclic factor in the situation remains to be worked out.

  • Another fact strikes the observer: the cyclic march of evolution.

    Reincarnation Th. Pascal
  • But we now see it was beyond any doubt part of a cyclic work.

  • The cyclic poems are certainly the production of a late and changed age?

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • It is admitted that the poets did not in the same way "expurgate" the "cyclic" epics.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang
  • Let others try to reconcile the cyclic fragments, or vindicate the Catalogue of ships.

    Hypatia Charles Kingsley
  • In the latter case the motion is said to be cyclic, in the former acyclic.

    Lord Kelvin Andrew Gray
  • The atmospheric changes may have been either progressive or cyclic, or both.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • It is in the cyclic poems that we should naturally seek for materials to enlarge, expound, or correct Homer.

British Dictionary definitions for cyclic


/ˈsaɪklɪk; ˈsɪklɪk/
recurring or revolving in cycles
(of an organic compound) containing a closed saturated or unsaturated ring of atoms See also heterocyclic, homocyclic
  1. arranged in whorls: cyclic petals
  2. having parts arranged in this way: cyclic flowers
(music) of or relating to a musical form consisting of several movements sharing thematic material
(geometry) (of a polygon) having vertices that lie on a circle
(in generative grammar) denoting one of a set of transformational rules all of which must apply to a clause before any one of them applies to any clause in which the first clause is embedded
Derived Forms
cyclically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cyclic

1794, from French cyclique (16c.), from Latin cyclicus, from Greek kyklikos "moving in a circle," from kyklos (see cycle (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cyclic in Medicine

cyclic cy·clic (sī'klĭk, sĭk'lĭk) or cy·cli·cal (sī'klĭ-kəl, sĭk'lĭ-kəl)

  1. Relating to or characterized by cycles.

  2. Recurring or moving in cycles.

  3. Relating to chemical compounds having atoms arranged in a ring or closed-chain structure.

cy'cli·cal'i·ty (sĭk'lə-kāl'ĭ-tē, sī'klə-) n.
cy'cli·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cyclic in Science
  (sĭk'lĭk, sī'klĭk)   
  1. Occurring or moving in cycles.

  2. Relating to a compound having atoms arranged in a ring or closed-chain structure. Benzene is a cyclic compound.

  3. Having parts arranged in a whorl.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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