cycle

A cycle is a series of events that happen repeatedly in the same order. Or, it is a slang term for a bicycle. If you ride a cycle to work, we suggest putting your clothes through the wash cycle twice — or wear strong cologne.

We get cycle from Latin cyclus and Greek kuklos, both meaning "circle." So you can see where bi- (two) and tri- (three) + cycle got their names. Nowadays, cycle can be a verb or a noun: You can ride a cycle or you can cycle to the park. The same holds true when you’re talking about a sequence of repeating events: The seasons cycle through spring, summer, fall, and winter. The plant life cycle goes from seed to flower to seed dispersal.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: cycle

1
nv
a periodically repeated sequence of events
recur in repeating sequences
2
nv
a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals
ride a motorcycle
3
n
a series of poems or songs on the same theme
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: cycle
1

n a periodically repeated sequence of events

“a cycle of reprisal and retaliation”
Types:
merry-go-round
a never-ending cycle of activities and events (especially when they seem to have little purpose)
samsara
(Hinduism and Buddhism) the endless cycle of birth and suffering and death and rebirth
Type of:
repeat, repetition
an event that repeats

n a single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon

“a year constitutes a cycle of the seasons”
Synonyms:
oscillation
Types:
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cardiac cycle
the complete cycle of events in the heart from the beginning of one heart beat to the beginning of the next; an electrical impulse conducted through the heart muscle that constricts the atria which is followed by constriction of the ventricles
Carnot cycle, Carnot's ideal cycle
a cycle (of expansion and compression) of an idealized reversible heat engine that does work without loss of heat
pass
one complete cycle of operations (as by a computer)
menstrual cycle
a recurring cycle (beginning at menarche and ending at menopause) in which the endometrial lining of the uterus prepares for pregnancy; if pregnancy does not occur the lining is shed at menstruation
Type of:
periodic event, recurrent event
an event that recurs at intervals

n the unit of frequency; one hertz has a periodic interval of one second

Synonyms:
Hz, cps, cycle per second, cycles/second, hertz
Type of:
rate
a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit

n an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs

“the never-ending cycle of the seasons”
Synonyms:
rhythm, round
Type of:
interval, time interval
a definite length of time marked off by two instants

v recur in repeating sequences

Type of:
recur, repeat
happen or occur again

v cause to go through a recurring sequence

cycle the laundry in this washing program”
Types:
recycle
cause to repeat a cycle
Type of:
make pass, pass
cause to pass

v pass through a cycle

“This machine automatically cycles
Types:
cycle on
come to the starting point of a cycle
Type of:
go across, go through, pass
go across or through
2

n a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals

Synonyms:
bicycle, bike, wheel
Types:
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bicycle-built-for-two, tandem, tandem bicycle
a bicycle with two sets of pedals and two seats
all-terrain bike, mountain bike, off-roader
a bicycle with a sturdy frame and fat tires; originally designed for riding in mountainous country
ordinary, ordinary bicycle
an early bicycle with a very large front wheel and small back wheel
push-bike
a bicycle that must be pedaled
safety bicycle, safety bike
bicycle that has two wheels of equal size; pedals are connected to the rear wheel by a multiplying gear
velocipede
any of several early bicycles with pedals on the front wheel
Type of:
wheeled vehicle
a vehicle that moves on wheels and usually has a container for transporting things or people

v ride a motorcycle

Synonyms:
motorbike, motorcycle
Type of:
ride
be carried or travel on or in a vehicle

v ride a bicycle

Synonyms:
bicycle, bike, pedal, wheel
Types:
unicycle
ride a unicycle
backpedal
pedal backwards on a bicycle
Type of:
ride
be carried or travel on or in a vehicle
3

n a series of poems or songs on the same theme

“Schubert's song cycles
Type of:
series
similar things placed in order or happening one after another
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