Definition of periodic in English:



  • 1Appearing or occurring at intervals.

    ‘the periodic visits she made to her father’
    • ‘A baby who has periodic breathing resumes regular breathing on his or her own.’
    • ‘The training should be provided to all ranks from the highest to the lowest and should be given at periodic intervals, not just at the start of the job.’
    • ‘Emotion is kept in check - rage and pain appear suddenly, like periodic explosions.’
    • ‘Having experienced spells of acute water scarcity at periodic intervals, people do lament over the waste of the precious resource in such times.’
    • ‘New Zealand is to present its next periodic report on compliance with the UN convention in September this year.’
    • ‘Therefore, we recommend that periodic surveys for flying squirrels continue at approximately 10 year intervals.’
    • ‘Each recommended practice is reviewed and revised as appropriate at regular periodic intervals.’
    • ‘Roofs are like heating and cooling systems: The equipment needs periodic cleaning and tuning for peak efficiency.’
    • ‘Some economists argue that periodic credit crunches are the price emerging markets must pay for faster growth.’
    • ‘The continued need for 6-yearly periodic reviews has also been questioned.’
    • ‘So every one of our portfolios has always been planned and recommended for periodic rebalancing.’
    • ‘Leases for a fixed term and periodic tenancies are the types of lease most frequently encountered.’
    • ‘Although it can be frightening, periodic breathing typically causes no other problems in newborns.’
    • ‘They crop up in one form or the other at periodic intervals.’
    • ‘At this stage, the client needs periodic support as well as training in relapse prevention.’
    • ‘By contrast, the letting of the basement on a weekly tenancy is an example of a periodic tenancy.’
    • ‘We further enhance the safety by periodic rebalancing of the weaker and stronger fund.’
    • ‘Maintaining the transformation merits and requires a periodic update on where social history stands.’
    • ‘Despite this, he has continued to appear regularly at our periodic family gatherings, and is considered a family member in good standing.’
    • ‘At periodic intervals, the iron bars at the mouth of narrow roads, put up to prevent the entry of heavy vehicles, are knocked down by lorries, due to reckless driving.’
    regular, periodical, at fixed intervals, recurrent, recurring, repeated, cyclical, cyclic, seasonal
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  • 2Chemistry
    Relating to the periodic table of the elements.

    • ‘The periodic table has since been expanded to 81 stable and 31 radioactive elements.’
    • ‘The study of oscillating reactions is the study of periodic changes in chemical reactions.’
    • ‘The steadily increasing weights gave Mendeleyev, Meyer, and others a kind of index by which to order the elements and reveal their periodic behaviour.’
    • ‘The first rough draft of the periodic elements signaled not the end but the beginning of chemistry.’
    • ‘Bismuth is the fifth and last element in Group 15 of the periodic table.’
  • 3Relating to a rhetorical period.

    • ‘However, in the late 18th century there was a return to the periodic Latinate style.’


Mid 17th century: from French périodique, or via Latin from Greek periodikos ‘coming round at intervals’, from periodos (see period).