Try Our Apps


Word of the Day
Friday, October 06, 2017

Definitions for upcycle

  1. to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original: I upcycled a stained tablecloth into curtains.
  2. to process goods or material in this way.
  3. Economics. a period or cycle during which business activity is at a high point: The whole industry has entered an upcycle.

Learn something
new every day


Thank youfor signing up
Get the Word of the Day Email
Citations for upcycle
Upcycling is an emerging trend whereby one sees the value in both the composition and the form of an object but not the intention. That crumpled bag that once held a few handfuls of chips can be folded into a purse or bracelet. The used toothbrush can become a pen, a doormat, or one of any number of useful objects. Although more energy is used to upcycle an object than is needed to simply reuse it, it is usually a relatively small amount. Tom Szaky, Outsmart Waste: The Modern Idea of Garbage and How to Think Our Way Out of It, 2014
"Well," I said, "sometimes I buy it, but as often as I can I try to work with metal that I find. Junkyards and metal yards and even yard sales. I guess the buzzword is upcycle. You know, recycle into something more valuable." Claire Cook, Time Flies, 2013
Origin of upcycle
Upcycle is a blend of the words up and recycle. It entered English in the early 1990s.