The adjective cyclic describes something that happens so regularly, you can predict it, like the cyclic trips to buy notebooks and sneakers when preparing for a new school year.

Accent the first syllable in cyclic: “SICK-lick.” Something that is cyclic follows a cycle, a sequence in which things begin and end in a predictable rhythm. Cycle comes from the Greek word kyklos, meaning “circle, wheel, any circular body, circular motion, cycle of events.” So something that is cyclic shares that same pattern.

Definitions of cyclic
  1. adjective

    marked by repeated cycles


    periodic, periodical

    happening or recurring at regular intervals
  2. adjective

    recurring in cycles


    alternate, alternating

    occurring by turns; first one and then the other

    every second one of a series
    circular, orbitual, rotary

    describing a circle; moving in a circle
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    noncyclic, noncyclical

    not cyclic

  3. adjective

    conforming to the Carnot cycle

  4. adjective

    forming a whorl or having parts arranged in a whorl

    cyclic petals”
    cyclic flowers”

    verticillate, verticillated, whorled

    forming one or more whorls (especially a whorl of leaves around a stem)
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    not cyclic; especially having parts arranged in spirals rather than whorls

  5. adjective

    of a compound having atoms arranged in a ring structure



    having molecules consisting of two fused rings
    closed-chain, closed-ring

    having atoms linked by bonds represented in circular or triangular form

    containing a closed ring of atoms of which at least one is not a carbon atom
    homocyclic, isocyclic

    containing a closed ring of atoms of the same kind especially carbon atoms
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    acyclic, open-chain

    having an open chain structure

    having carbon atoms linked in open chains
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