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.

Definitions of cycle
  1. noun
    a periodically repeated sequence of events
    “a cycle of reprisal and retaliation”
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    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
  2. noun
    a single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon
    “a year constitutes a cycle of the seasons”
    synonyms: oscillation
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    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
  3. noun
    the unit of frequency; one hertz has a periodic interval of one second
    synonyms: Hz, cps, cycle per second, cycles/second, hertz
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    type of:
    rate
    a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit
  4. noun
    an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs
    “the never-ending cycle of the seasons”
    synonyms: rhythm, round
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    type of:
    interval, time interval
    a definite length of time marked off by two instants
  5. verb
    recur in repeating sequences
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    type of:
    recur, repeat
    happen or occur again
  6. verb
    cause to go through a recurring sequence
    cycle the laundry in this washing program”
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    types:
    recycle
    cause to repeat a cycle
    type of:
    make pass, pass
    cause to pass
  7. verb
    pass through a cycle
    “This machine automatically cycles
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    types:
    cycle on
    come to the starting point of a cycle
    type of:
    go across, go through, pass
    go across or through
  8. noun
    a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals
    synonyms: bicycle, bike, wheel
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    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
  9. verb
    ride a motorcycle
    synonyms: motorbike, motorcycle
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    type of:
    ride
    be carried or travel on or in a vehicle
  10. verb
    ride a bicycle
    synonyms: bicycle, bike, pedal, wheel
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    types:
    unicycle
    ride a unicycle
    backpedal
    pedal backwards on a bicycle
    type of:
    ride
    be carried or travel on or in a vehicle
  11. noun
    a series of poems or songs on the same theme
    “Schubert's song cycles
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    type of:
    series
    similar things placed in order or happening one after another
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