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[bahy-si-kuh l, -sik-uh l, -sahy-kuh l] /ˈbaɪ sɪ kəl, -ˌsɪk əl, -ˌsaɪ kəl/
a vehicle with two wheels in tandem, usually propelled by pedals connected to the rear wheel by a chain, and having handlebars for steering and a saddlelike seat.
verb (used without object), bicycled, bicycling.
to ride a bicycle.
verb (used with object), bicycled, bicycling.
to ship or transport directly by bicycle or other means.
Origin of bicycle
1865-70; < French; see bi-1, cycle
Related forms
bicyclist, bicycler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bicycle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He helped her to mend the bicycle, and they talked of the beauty of spring and of modern poetry.

    Man and Maid E. (Edith) Nesbit
  • And he sold his camel yesterday and bought a bicycle instead.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • She had dodged two trolley cars and an automobile, only to be run down by a boy on a bicycle.

    Continuous Vaudeville Will M. Cressy
  • He took her bicycle from her, and, turning, walked with her back into the park.

    The Missionary George Griffith
  • I'm so sorry, ma'am; I fell off my bicycle, and it's broken.

    The Cat and Fiddle Book Lady Florence Bell
British Dictionary definitions for bicycle


a vehicle with a tubular metal frame mounted on two spoked wheels, one behind the other. The rider sits on a saddle, propels the vehicle by means of pedals that drive the rear wheel through a chain, and steers with handlebars on the front wheel Often shortened to cycle, (informal) bike
(intransitive) to ride a bicycle; cycle
Derived Forms
bicyclist, bicycler, noun
Word Origin
C19: from bi-1 + Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kuklos wheel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bicycle

1868, coined from bi- "two" + Greek kyklos "circle, wheel" (see cycle (n.)), on the pattern of tricycle; both the word and the vehicle superseding earlier velocipede. The English word probably is not from French, though often said to be (many French sources say the French word is from English). The assumption apparently is because Pierre Lallement, employee of a French carriage works, improved Macmillan's 1839 pedal velocipede in 1865 and took the invention to America. See also pennyfarthing. As a verb, from 1869.

That ne plus ultra of snobbishness -- bicyclism. [1876]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bicycle


Related Terms

get on one's bicycle

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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