The word "cycle" is used for things and situations that revolve or go around in a circle, or go around again and again and again.


A bicycle (The prefix "bi" means two.) has two wheels that spin and move the rider forward. A person who rides a bicycle is called a bicyclist. Bicyclists enjoy cycling.

A motorcycle also has two wheels. The person who rides a motorcycle is called a motorcyclist.


A washing machine goes through different cycles when it washes clothes. There’s the wash cycle, the rinse cycle,and the spin cycle.

washing machine

Items such as cans, newspapers, and glass jars are put into a recycling bin so that they can be remanufactured or used again.

recyclling bin

Do you recycle?


Here are some other ways to use the word "cycle."

  • There’s something known as the cycle of life. Living things begin very small, and then as they age they get bigger. Eventually, every living thing dies. Every living thing goes through this cycle.
  • The U.S. economy goes through cycles in which there are good times and bad times. There’s prosperity and recession. We say that parts of the U.S. economy, or the U.S. economy as a whole, are cyclical. (The word "cyclical" is an adjective.)
  • Traffic signals go through a cycle of red, green, and yellow when regulating traffic.

traffic lights traffic lights

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April 23, 2018