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recycle

[ree-sahy-kuh l]
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verb (used with object), re·cy·cled, re·cy·cling.
  1. to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees.
  2. to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater.
  3. to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days.
  4. to cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine.
verb (used without object), re·cy·cled, re·cy·cling.
  1. to pass through a cycle again; repeat a process from the beginning.
  2. to undergo reuse or renewal; be subject to or suitable for further use, activity, etc.: The industry will recycle and become profitable once more.
noun
  1. the act or process of recycling.

Origin of recycle

First recorded in 1925–30; re- + cycle
Related formsre·cy·cla·ble, adjectivere·cy·cla·bil·i·ty, nounre·cy·cler, re·cy·clist, nounnon·re·cy·cla·ble, adjectiveun·re·cy·cled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for recycling

Contemporary Examples


British Dictionary definitions for recycling

recycle

verb (tr)
  1. to pass (a substance) through a system again for further treatment or use
  2. to reclaim (packaging or products with a limited useful life) for further use
  3. to institute a different cycle of processes or events in (a machine, system, etc)
  4. to repeat (a series of operations)
noun
  1. the repetition of a fixed sequence of events
Derived Formsrecyclable or recycleable, adjective, noun
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

Word Origin and History for recycling

n.

1924, verbal noun from recycle (v.). Originally a technical term in oil-refining and similar industries; its broader consumer sense dates from 1960.

recycle

v.

1922, originally of industrial processes; see re- + cycle (v.). Specifically of waste material from 1960. Related: Recycled; recycling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recycling in Science

recycling

[rē-sīklĭng]
  1. The collection and often reprocessing of discarded materials for reuse. Recycled materials include those used in manufacturing processes and those used in consumer products. The recycled material is often degraded somewhat by use or processing and therefore must be converted to another purpose. For example, the processing of recycled newspaper and other paper wastes usually shortens their fibers, and the material cannot be used to make high-grade paper. Instead, it can be reprocessed to make cardboard or insulation. Recycling helps reduce pollution, prolong the usefulness of landfills, and conserve natural resources.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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