9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ree-sahy-kuh l] /riˈsaɪ kəl/
verb (used with object), recycled, recycling.
to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse:
recycling paper to save trees.
to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of:
The old factory is being recycled as a theater.
to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration:
The governor recycled some speeches from his early days.
to cause to pass through a cycle again:
to recycle laundry through a washing machine.
verb (used without object), recycled, recycling.
to pass through a cycle again; repeat a process from the beginning.
to undergo reuse or renewal; be subject to or suitable for further use, activity, etc.:
The industry will recycle and become profitable once more.
the act or process of recycling.
Origin of recycle
1925-30; re- + cycle
Related forms
recyclable, adjective
recyclability, noun
recycler, recyclist, noun
nonrecyclable, adjective
unrecycled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recyclable
  • It's less wasteful to purchase a small bottle, and the containers are recyclable.
  • The combination of heat, motion and pressure cleans recyclable items, even washing off labels and glue.
  • Nuclear is clean, its recyclable and far more efficient than fossil fuels.
  • Lithium is a renewable, recyclable metal, totally unlike oil.
  • Nearly all the material in a spent fuel rod is recyclable or easily handled.
  • It uses fewer toxic solvents and cleaners and can be carried out with many recyclable materials.
  • If the panels are not recyclable, then its not renewable.
  • Yes, the sleeves are recyclable, but that still takes a lot of energy to do.
  • Paper bags are heavier--and therefore use more fossil fuel during shipping--although they are biodegradable and recyclable.
  • Real trees are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.
British Dictionary definitions for recyclable


verb (transitive)
to pass (a substance) through a system again for further treatment or use
to reclaim (packaging or products with a limited useful life) for further use
to institute a different cycle of processes or events in (a machine, system, etc)
to repeat (a series of operations)
the repetition of a fixed sequence of events
Derived Forms
recyclable, recycleable, adjective, noun
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 recyclable

1971, from recycle + -able. As a noun, by 1973. Related: Recyclables.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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