When you recycle something, you process it so it can be used again. You might recycle an old tire and make it into a snazzy black knapsack with some very cool skid marks.

The prefix re- means again, and when you recycle something, you process it for another cycle of use. The phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" gives you three ways to prevent waste. When you recycle plastic bottles, they’re melted down and made into new bottles or even furniture or clothing. You might do some creative recycling and turn your old textbooks into a coffee table. When you have your washing machine repeat the wash or rinse cycle, that’s a different recycle.

Definitions of recycle
  1. verb
    use again after processing
    “We must recycle the cardboard boxes”
    synonyms: reprocess, reuse
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    present or use over, with no or few changes
    reclaim, recover
    reuse (materials from waste products)
    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  2. verb
    cause to repeat a cycle
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cause to go through a recurring sequence
Word Family

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