Meaning of CYCLE in English

I. ˈsīkəl, in sense 6 “ or ˈsik- noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: French or Late Latin; French cycle, from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kyklos ring, circle, cycle, wheel — more at wheel

1. : an interval of time during which one sequence of a regularly recurring succession of events or phenomena is completed: as

a. : a recurrent period of time that is used as a basis of chronology usually beginning and ending by occurrence of the same natural phenomenon (as the passage of a comet)

b. : a period of time during which something becomes established, reaches a peak, and declines

the early mining cycles of gold and silver in the west


a. : a recurrent sequence of events which occur in such order that the last event of one sequence immediately precedes the recurrence of the first event in a new series — compare life cycle

b. : a complete course of operations or events returning upon itself and restoring the original state

the common cycle of birth, growth, senescence, and death — T.C.Schneirla & Gerard Piel

the sporogonic cycle of the malaria mosquito


(1) : one complete performance of a vibration, electric oscillation, current alternation, or other periodic process

(2) : cycles per second — compare hertz

d. : a series of operations at the end of which a working substance is returned to its original state usually with accompanying conversion of heat into mechanical work or vice versa

e. : the sequence of activities repeated in each performance of an operation or task — used chiefly in connection with time and motion studies

f. : business cycle

g. : a series of changes usually but not necessarily leading back to the starting point

the cycle of nitrogen in the living world

the geochemical cycle of an element passing through various processes which may lead to repetition

h. : a regular periodic fluctuation in the abundance of certain kinds of animals

3. : a circular or spiral arrangement: as


(1) : an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens

(2) : celestial sphere


(1) in phyllotaxy : a section or turn of the spiral between one member and the next immediately over or below it

(2) : a whorl of floral leaves

c. : ring 22

d. : a set of septa or tentacles of like age in a coral or sea anemone

e. : a set of regularly recurring values of a periodic variable

4. : a long period of time : age

better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay — Alfred Tennyson


a. : a group of series of works (as poems, plays, novels, or songs) treating the same theme

a sonnet cycle

b. : the complete series of poetic or prose narratives dealing typically with the exploits of a legendary hero and his followers

the Arthurian cycle


[by shortening]

a. : bicycle

b. : tricycle

c. : motorcycle

7. : the series of a single, double, triple, and home run hit by one player during one baseball game

hit for the cycle

II. ˈsīkəl, in sense 2 “ or ˈsik- verb

( cycled ; cycled ; cycling -k(ə)liŋ ; cycles )

intransitive verb


a. : to pass through a cycle of changes

the machine automatically cycles — Industrial Equipment News

b. : to recur in cycles

prosperity goes cycling on from generation to generation

2. : to ride a cycle (as a bicycle)

transitive verb

: to cause to go through a cycle

III. noun

: a permutation of a set of ordered elements in which each element takes the place of the next and the last becomes first

IV. intransitive verb

: to undergo the estrous cycle

the mare has begun cycling

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.