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cycle

[sahy-kuh l]
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noun
  1. any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated.
  2. a round of years or a recurring period of time, especially one in which certain events or phenomena repeat themselves in the same order and at the same intervals.
  3. any long period of years; age.
  4. a bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, etc.
  5. a group of poems, dramas, prose narratives, songs etc., about a central theme, figure, or the like: the Arthurian cycle.
  6. Physics.
    1. a sequence of changing states that, upon completion, produces a final state identical to the original one.
    2. one of a succession of periodically recurring events.
    3. a complete alteration in which a phenomenon attains a maximum and minimum value, returning to a final value equal to the original one.
  7. Mathematics. a permutation of a set of elements that leaves the original cyclic order of the elements unchanged.
  8. Computers.
    1. the smallest interval of time required to complete an operation in a computer.
    2. a series of computer operations repeated as a unit.
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verb (used without object), cy·cled, cy·cling.
  1. to ride or travel by bicycle, motorcycle, tricycle, etc.
  2. to move or revolve in cycles; pass through cycles.
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Idioms
  1. hit for the cycle, Baseball. (of one player) to hit a single, double, triple, and home run in one game.
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Origin of cycle

1350–1400; Middle English cicle < Late Latin cyclus < Greek kýklos cycle, circle, wheel, ring, disk, orb; see wheel
Related formssu·per·cy·cle, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cycle

revolution, series, period, course, rhythm, round, wheel, alternation, run, chain, sequence, ring, sequel, orbit, age, circuit, succession, rotation, circle, loop

Examples from the Web for cycle

Contemporary Examples of cycle

Historical Examples of cycle


British Dictionary definitions for cycle

cycle

noun
  1. a recurring period of time in which certain events or phenomena occur and reach completion or repeat themselves in a regular sequence
  2. a completed series of events that follows or is followed by another series of similar events occurring in the same sequence
  3. the time taken or needed for one such series
  4. a vast period of time; age; aeon
  5. a group of poems or prose narratives forming a continuous story about a central figure or eventthe Arthurian cycle
  6. a series of miracle playsthe Chester cycle
  7. a group or sequence of songsSee song cycle
  8. short for bicycle, tricycle, motorcycle
  9. astronomy the orbit of a celestial body
  10. a recurrent series of events or processes in plants and animalsa life cycle; a growth cycle; a metabolic cycle
  11. physics a continuous change or a sequence of changes in the state of a system that leads to the restoration of the system to its original state after a finite period of time
  12. one of a series of repeated changes in the magnitude of a periodically varying quantity, such as current or voltage
  13. computing
    1. a set of operations that can be both treated and repeated as a unit
    2. the time required to complete a set of operations
    3. one oscillation of the regular voltage waveform used to synchronize processes in a digital computer
  14. (in generative grammar) the set of cyclic rules
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verb
  1. (tr) to process through a cycle or system
  2. (intr) to move in or pass through cycles
  3. to travel by or ride a bicycle or tricycle
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Derived Formscycling, noun, adjective

Word Origin for cycle

C14: from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kuklos cycle, circle, ring, wheel; see wheel
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 cycle

n.

late 14c., from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kyklos "circle, wheel, any circular body, circular motion, cycle of events," from PIE *kwel- "to roll, to move around, wheel" (cf. Sanskrit cakram "circle, wheel," carati "he moves, wanders;" Avestan caraiti "applies himself," c'axra "chariot, wagon;" Greek polos "a round axis" (PIE *kw- becomes Greek p- before some vowels), polein "move around;" Latin colere "to frequent, dwell in, to cultivate, move around," cultus "tended, cultivated," hence also "polished," colonus "husbandman, tenant farmer, settler, colonist;" Lithuanian kelias "a road, a way;" Old Norse hvel, Old English hweol "wheel;" Old Russian kolo, Polish koło, Russian koleso "a wheel").

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v.

1842, "revolve in cycles," from cycle (n.). Meaning "to ride a bicycle" is from 1883. Related: Cycled; cycling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cycle in Medicine

cycle

(sīkəl)
n.
  1. An interval of time during which a characteristic, often regularly repeated event or sequence of events occurs.
  2. A single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon.
  3. A periodically repeated sequence of events.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cycle in Science

cycle

[sīkəl]
  1. A single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon. See also period.
  2. A circular or whorled arrangement of flower parts such as those of petals or stamens.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.