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[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.
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 recycled
  • But they caution that a tree with tinsel or fake snow spray cannot be recycled.
  • Their plots recycled old musical formulas, with singers lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks instead of performing live.
  • Although it is new, the structure looks old, thanks to recycled wood and comfortable furnishings.
  • He's built us some amazing decking out of all recycled materials.
  • Some are ready made, others recycled, and many repurposed.
  • But those weren't the only recycled pieces in the garden.
  • The fountain in this courtyard was made of recycled concrete.
  • Sofas and chairs have soy-based cushions, recycled fiber filling for pillows with organic and natural fabrics.
  • After an update to its software, a robot scientist has recycled its previous research to make a new biological discovery.
  • It also guarantees that, because fewer units get recycled, more end up in landfills.
British Dictionary definitions for recycled


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 recycled



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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