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 Dictionary entry overview: What does cyclic mean? 

CYCLIC (adjective)
  The adjective CYCLIC has 5 senses:

1. conforming to the Carnot cycle
2. botany; forming a whorl or having parts arranged in a whorl
3. of a compound having atoms arranged in a ring structure
4. recurring in cycles
5. marked by repeated cycles

  Familiarity information: CYCLIC used as an adjective is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

CYCLIC (adjective)

Sense 1cyclic [BACK TO TOP]


Conforming to the Carnot cycle

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Domain category:

thermodynamics (the branch of physics concerned with the conversion of different forms of energy)


Carnot cycle (a cycle (of expansion and compression) of an idealized reversible heat engine that does work without loss of heat)

Sense 2cyclic [BACK TO TOP]


Botany; forming a whorl or having parts arranged in a whorl

Context examples:

cyclic petals / cyclic flowers


verticillate; verticillated; whorled (forming one or more whorls (especially a whorl of leaves around a stem))


acyclic (botany; not cyclic; especially having parts arranged in spirals rather than whorls)

Sense 3cyclic [BACK TO TOP]


Of a compound having atoms arranged in a ring structure


homocyclic; isocyclic (containing a closed ring of atoms of the same kind especially carbon atoms)

heterocyclic (containing a closed ring of atoms of which at least one is not a carbon atom)

closed-chain; closed-ring (having atoms linked by bonds represented in circular or triangular form)

bicyclic (having molecules consisting of two fused rings)

Domain category:

chemical science; chemistry (the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions)


acyclic (chemistry; not cyclic; having an open chain structure)

Sense 4cyclic [BACK TO TOP]


Recurring in cycles


cyclical; cyclic


alternate; alternating (occurring by turns; first one and then the other)

alternate (every second one of a series)

circular; rotary (marked by or moving in a circle)

diurnal (having a daily cycle or occurring every day)


cyclicity; periodicity (the quality of recurring at regular intervals)


noncyclic (not cyclic)

Sense 5cyclic [BACK TO TOP]


Marked by repeated cycles


periodic; periodical (happening or recurring at regular intervals)

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