- a sequence of changing states that, upon completion, produces a final state identical to the original one.
- one of a succession of periodically recurring events.
- a complete alteration in which a phenomenon attains a maximum and minimum value, returning to a final value equal to the original one.
- the smallest interval of time required to complete an operation in a computer.
- a series of computer operations repeated as a unit.
verb (used without object), cy·cled, cy·cling.
- cycle billing,
- cycle of erosion,
- cycle of indiction,
Origin of cycle
- a set of operations that can be both treated and repeated as a unit
- the time required to complete a set of operations
- one oscillation of the regular voltage waveform used to synchronize processes in a digital computer
Word Origin for cycle
1842, "revolve in cycles," from cycle (n.). Meaning "to ride a bicycle" is from 1883. Related: Cycled; cycling.
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").