[ree-sahy-kuh l]
See more synonyms for recycle on
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.
  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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for recycle

convert, save, recover, reclaim, salvage, reprocess

Examples from the Web for recycle

Contemporary Examples of recycle

Historical Examples of recycle

British Dictionary definitions for 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)
  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 recycle

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper