verb (used with object), re·cy·cled, re·cy·cling.

  1. to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees.
  2. to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater.
  3. to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days.
  4. to cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine.

verb (used without object), re·cy·cled, re·cy·cling.

  1. to pass through a cycle again; repeat a process from the beginning.
  2. to undergo reuse or renewal; be subject to or suitable for further use, activity, etc.: The industry will recycle and become profitable once more.


  1. the act or process of recycling.

verb (tr)

  1. to pass (a substance) through a system again for further treatment or use
  2. to reclaim (packaging or products with a limited useful life) for further use
  3. to institute a different cycle of processes or events in (a machine, system, etc)
  4. to repeat (a series of operations)


  1. the repetition of a fixed sequence of events

1922, originally of industrial processes; see re- + cycle (v.). Specifically of waste material from 1960. Related: Recycled; recycling.

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