What does cycle mean?

Definitions for cycle
ˈsaɪ kəlcy·cle

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word cycle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cycle, rhythm, roundnoun

    an interval during which a recurring sequence of events occurs

    "the never-ending cycle of the seasons"

  2. cyclenoun

    a series of poems or songs on the same theme

    "Schubert's song cycles"

  3. cyclenoun

    a periodically repeated sequence of events

    "a cycle of reprisal and retaliation"

  4. hertz, Hz, cycle per second, cycles/second, cps, cyclenoun

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

  5. cycle, oscillationnoun

    a single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon

    "a year constitutes a cycle of the seasons"

  6. bicycle, bike, wheel, cycleverb

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

  7. cycleverb

    cause to go through a recurring sequence

    "cycle the laundry in this washing program"

  8. cycleverb

    pass through a cycle

    "This machine automatically cycles"

  9. motorbike, motorcycle, cycleverb

    ride a motorcycle

  10. bicycle, cycle, bike, pedal, wheelverb

    ride a bicycle

  11. cycleverb

    recur in repeating sequences


  1. Cyclenoun

    A motorcycle.

  2. cycleverb

    To cause to pass through a cycle.


  1. cyclenoun

    An interval of space or time in which one set of events or phenomena is completed.

  2. cyclenoun

    A complete rotation of anything.

  3. cyclenoun

    A process that returns to its beginning and then repeats itself in the same sequence.

  4. cyclenoun

    A series of poems, songs or other works of art

  5. cyclenoun

    A programme on a washing machine, dishwasher, or other such device.

    Put the washing in on a warm cycle.

  6. cyclenoun

    A pedal-powered vehicle, such as a unicycle, bicycle, or tricycle; or, motorized vehicle that has either two or three wheels, such as a motorbike, motorcycle, motorized tricycle, or motortrike.

  7. cyclenoun

    A single, a double, a triple, and a home run hit by the same player in the same game.

    Jones hit for the cycle in the game.

  8. cyclenoun

    A closed walk or path, with or without repeated vertices allowed.

  9. cycleverb

    To ride a bicycle or other cycle.

  10. cycleverb

    To go through a cycle or to put through a cycle.

  11. cycleverb

    To turn power off and back on

    Avoid cycling the device unnecessarily.

  12. cycleverb

    To maintain a team's possession of the puck in the offensive zone by handling and passing the puck in a loop from the boards near the goal up the side boards and passing to back to the boards near the goal

    They have their cycling game going tonight.

  13. Etymology: From cyclus, from κύκλος, reduplicated form of a kʷékʷlos. Cognates include Sanskrit, Latin colus, Old English (English wheel), English ancillary

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Cyclenoun

    Etymology: cyclus, Latin; ϰύϰλος.

    We do more commonly use these words, so as to stile a lesser space a cycle, and a greater by the name of period; and you may not improperly call the beginning of a large period the epocha thereof. William Holder, on Time.

    We thought we should not attempt an unacceptable work, if here we endeavoured to present our gardeners with a complete cycle of what is requisite to be done throughout every month of the year. John Evelyn, Kalendar.

    How build, unbuild, contrive
    To save appearances; how gird the sphere
    With centrick and excentrick, scribl’d o’er
    Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb! John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. viii.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cyclenoun

    an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens; one of the celestial spheres

  2. Cyclenoun

    an interval of time in which a certain succession of events or phenomena is completed, and then returns again and again, uniformly and continually in the same order; a periodical space of time marked by the recurrence of something peculiar; as, the cycle of the seasons, or of the year

  3. Cyclenoun

    an age; a long period of time

  4. Cyclenoun

    an orderly list for a given time; a calendar

  5. Cyclenoun

    the circle of subjects connected with the exploits of the hero or heroes of some particular period which have served as a popular theme for poetry, as the legend of Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, and that of Charlemagne and his paladins

  6. Cyclenoun

    one entire round in a circle or a spire; as, a cycle or set of leaves

  7. Cyclenoun

    a bicycle or tricycle, or other light velocipede

  8. Cycleverb

    to pass through a cycle of changes; to recur in cycles

  9. Cycleverb

    to ride a bicycle, tricycle, or other form of cycle

  10. Etymology: [F. ycle, LL. cyclus, fr. Gr. ky`klos ring or circle, cycle; akin to Skr. cakra wheel, circle. See Wheel.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cycle

    sī′kl, n. a period of time in which events happen in a certain order, and which constantly repeats itself: an imaginary circle or orbit in the heavens: a series of poems, prose romances, &c., centring round a figure or event—also Cy′clus: an abbreviation for bicycle and tricycle.—v.i. to move in cycles: to ride or take exercise on a bicycle or tricycle.—adjs. Cy′clic, -al, pertaining to or containing a cycle.—ns. Cy′clist, for bicyclist or tricyclist; Cy′clograph, an instrument for describing the arcs of circles that have too large a curvature for compasses; Cy′cloid, a figure like a circle: a curve made by a point in a circle, when the circle is rolled along a straight line.—adj. Cycloid′al.—ns. Cycloid′ian, one of the fourth order of fishes, according to the classification of Agassiz, having cycloid scales with smooth edges, as the salmon; Cyclom′eter, an instrument for measuring circular arcs: an apparatus attached to the wheel of a cycle for registering the distance traversed; Cy′clorn, a cycle-horn. [Gr. kyklos, a circle.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. cycle

    1. n. The basic unit of computation. What every hacker wants more of (noted hacker Bill Gosper described himself as a “cycle junkie”). One can describe an instruction as taking so many clock cycles. Often the computer can access its memory once on every clock cycle, and so one speaks also of memory cycles. These are technical meanings of cycle. The jargon meaning comes from the observation that there are only so many cycles per second, and when you are sharing a computer the cycles get divided up among the users. The more cycles the computer spends working on your program rather than someone else's, the faster your program will run. That's why every hacker wants more cycles: so he can spend less time waiting for the computer to respond. 2. By extension, a notional unit of human thought power, emphasizing that lots of things compete for the typical hacker's think time. “I refused to get involved with the Rubik's Cube back when it was big. Knew I'd burn too many cycles on it if I let myself.” 3. vt. Syn. bounce (sense 4), from the phrase ‘cycle power’. “Cycle the machine again, that serial port's still hung.”

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. cycle

    A term generally applied to an interval of time in which the same phenomena recur.

Editors Contribution

  1. cycle

    A unit of frequency or time

    The machine cycle was very efficient and effective.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 17, 2020  
  2. cycle

    To use a bicycle.

    They did use their bicycle to cycle out at the parks at the weekend with their children.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 18, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. cycle

    Song lyrics by cycle -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by cycle on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Cycle

    a round or circle, e.g. of development; a life cycle.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cycle' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3146

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cycle' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3496

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cycle' in Nouns Frequency: #1110

How to pronounce cycle?

How to say cycle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cycle in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cycle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of cycle in a Sentence

  1. Kenny Alexander:

    What happened was breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, to see that students had gone on to university and some of the Ivy League schools was just very impressive. That’s what we witnessed there.

  2. James Eastland:

    There is a huge elephant in the room this cycle - which is race.

  3. Jan Dawson:

    It does mean that they don’t get sucked into the iPhone news cycle as badly as they did last year.

  4. Won Chang:

    Ice recedes from June to September and then in September, it begins to grow again in a seasonal cycle. And were saying we could have no ice in September.

  5. Veryan Khan:

    By Boko Haram pledging to the Islamic State, Shekau has secured a safe haven for Boko Haram's leadership. Even if the current Nigerian offensives are to succeed, a temporary escape could be made to another IS stronghold from where Boko Haram's life cycle can be maintained irrespective of distance.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for cycle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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