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hydrologic cycle

the natural sequence through which water passes into the atmosphere as water vapor, precipitates to earth in liquid or solid form, and ultimately returns to the atmosphere through evaporation.
Also called water cycle.
Origin of hydrologic cycle
1955-60; hydrolog(y) + -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for water cycle
  • The evaporation that occurs when oceans, particularly near the equator, absorb solar energy is a key step in the water cycle.
  • Write a summary explaining how the water cycle works.
  • water cycle in the well evermore and produce all energy people will need.
  • And there was so much going on, especially in spring and summer when the water cycle goes into overdrive.
  • The scientific discipline in the field of physical geography that deals with the water cycle is called hydrology.
  • The water cycle is a major factor in both weather and climate.
  • It is renewable because water is constantly circulating through the global water cycle.
  • Students will review the water cycle and investigate how a region's water supply can become contaminated.
  • The water cycle is also known as the hydrologic cycle.
  • Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere.
British Dictionary definitions for water cycle

water cycle

the circulation of the earth's water, in which water evaporates from the sea into the atmosphere, where it condenses and falls as rain or snow, returning to the sea by rivers or returning to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration Also called hydrologic cycle

hydrologic cycle

another name for water cycle
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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water cycle in Science
water cycle  
See hydrologic cycle.
hydrologic cycle

The continuous process by which water is circulated throughout the Earth and its atmosphere. The Earth's water enters the atmosphere through evaporation from bodies of water and from ground surfaces. Plants and animals also add water vapor to the air by transpiration. As it rises into the atmosphere, the water vapor condenses to form clouds. Rain and other forms of precipitation return it to the Earth, where it flows into bodies of water and into the ground, beginning the cycle again. Also called water cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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water cycle in Culture
hydrologic cycle [(heye-druh-loj-ik)]

The continuous circular process in which the water of the Earth evaporates from the oceans, condenses, falls to the Earth as rain or snow, and eventually returns to the oceans through run-off in rivers or streams. Some water is absorbed by plants and returned to the atmosphere as vapor.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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