Definition of cyclic in English:



  • 1Occurring in cycles; regularly repeated.

    ‘the cyclic pattern of the last two decades’
    • ‘Before beginning any pharmacologic treatment, the pattern, intensity, and cyclic nature of the patient's migraine must be clarified.’
    • ‘Progressing on a linear course toward heaven or eternal damnation, Christian theology is incompatible with the cyclic framework of Buddhism.’
    • ‘Interaction is a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think and speak.’
    • ‘The evolution of the universe could be cyclic, with regularly repeating periods of expansion and contraction.’
    • ‘He understood that this was an extremely slow cyclic process and that the Earth therefore had to be extremely ancient.’
    • ‘If you follow fashion, then you know it moves in a cyclic pattern.’
    • ‘Geologists are now investigating whether these groupings correspond to another new source of evidence of cyclic patterns in Earth's recent history.’
    • ‘Although there were the usual cyclic downturns, the rural economy on the whole rapidly improved in the twenty years succeeding the suspension of cash payments.’
    • ‘The cyclic nature of history demands a renaissance after every Dark Age.’
    • ‘His alternative model, which breaks with the generally accepted understanding of the Big Bang, conceives of time as something as endless as space, and the evolution of the cosmos as a cyclic process.’
    • ‘Equilibrium concepts first came into wide use in geomorphology as an alternative to the cyclic theories of landscape evolution of William Morris Davis.’
    • ‘When applying predictive techniques to the horoscope the astrologer first looks at the major cyclic energies at work.’
    • ‘The new terror was cyclic, and the cycle took exactly a century to complete.’
    • ‘While the deal was imperfect, it beat lurking alternatives like another generation split by minefields or another cyclic war of revenge.’
    • ‘Pepper, like some other fruit vegetables, shows a cyclic growth pattern where periods of high fruit set and slow fruit growth alternate with periods of low fruit set and rapid fruit growth.’
    • ‘I don't think it's mania, exactly, and I've yet to observe a cyclic rhythm in Alex's behavior.’
    • ‘Polar bears live in high-latitude environments characterized by cyclic variation in form and extent of sea ice.’
    • ‘The syndrome is cyclic with exacerbations and remissions occurring in a randomized pattern.’
    • ‘The thick sedimentary deposits beneath the world's continental shelves respond to one of the Earth's fundamental cyclic processes, the rise and fall of global sea level.’
    • ‘The disorder is characterized by the cyclic recurrence of symptoms during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.’
    • ‘The desire of a chain-smoker to give up smoking, on the other hand, would be a virtuous desire since it would break the cyclic pattern of a compulsive negative habit and enhance health and well-being.’
    regular, periodical, at fixed intervals, recurrent, recurring, repeated, cyclical, seasonal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Denoting a musical or literary composition with a recurrent theme or structural device.
      • ‘The cyclic integration and thematic affinity between movements of the work is not remotely an exaggerated claim by Schumann; the symphony is in fact as thematically unified as any ever written.’
      • ‘At times, the ensemble pieces take on a relentlessly driving momentum, locking into a cyclic repetition that is embellished by individual trills, flourishes or patters.’
      • ‘The oeuvre includes the formally ingenious Violin Sonata no.l, its finale a set of cyclic variations recapitulating in reverse order the themes of the entire work.’
      • ‘His own composition classes were solidly based on a historical foundation of Gregorian chant, Palestrinian and Bachian polyphony, Beethoven's symphonic language, and Franck's technique of cyclic themes.’
      • ‘His works include a cyclic setting of Shevchenko's poetry; operas, including Taras Bulba; art songs and choral works; cantatas; piano pieces; and chamber music.’
      • ‘But the cyclic structure he evinced in his own First Symphony is something quite different from what one will find in Schumann or Franck or any other cyclic symphonist of the 19th century.’
      • ‘These cyclic epics were obviously later than the Homeric poems, and from a time when oral composition had ceased and public performance was by rhapsodes, not traditional bards.’
      • ‘This trio is basically a set of variations in cyclic form.’
      • ‘Their search for the perfect beat has resulted in a series of sound experiments packed with cyclic grooves and hypnotic rhythms.’
      • ‘The Quartet is a cyclic composition full of fine music ranging from the eloquent to the virtuosic.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics (of a group) having the property that each element of the group can be expressed as a power of one particular element.
  • 2Mathematics
    Relating to a circle or other closed curve.

    1. 2.1Geometry (of a polygon) having all its vertices lying on a circle.
      • ‘However, Brahmagupta in 628 presented formulae for solving a dozen problems involving cyclic quadrilaterals that were not solved in the West before the Renaissance.’
      • ‘Since Tucker hexagons are cyclic, so are the hexagons of the six circumcenters at hand.’
      • ‘This information is independent both of the orientation chosen for the plane and of the orientation for the polygon specified by the cyclic order of its vertices.’
      • ‘The expression for the radius of the circle in which a cyclic quadrilateral is inscribed, given in terms of the sides of the quadrilateral, is usually attributed to Lhuilier in 1782.’
      • ‘In the general case, the hexagon is no longer cyclic, but the triangles are still equal and centrally symmetric.’
  • 3Chemistry
    (of a compound) having a molecular structure containing one or more closed rings of atoms.

    • ‘The basic mode of action is to make the cyclic structure a straight chain molecule.’
    • ‘The oxirane functional group is a subset of organic cyclic ether compounds.’
    • ‘He theorized that the structure of these compounds were long, chainlike molecules and not aggregates or cyclic compounds as previously thought.’
    • ‘By sharing two oxygen atoms, silicates can form either cyclic or chain structures.’
    • ‘Administration of gadolinium chloride and aminoguanidine decreased the levels of nitric oxide and cyclic guanosine monophosphate, and inhibited the changes in alveolar fluid clearance.’
  • 4Botany
    (of a flower) having its parts arranged in whorls.


Late 18th century: from French cyclique or Latin cyclicus, from Greek kuklikos, from kuklos ‘circle’.