from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vehicle consisting of a light frame mounted on two wire-spoked wheels one behind the other and having a seat, handlebars for steering, brakes, and two pedals or a small motor by which it is driven.
  • noun An exercise bicycle.
  • intransitive verb To ride or travel on a bicycle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To ride on a bicycle.
  • noun A traveling block used on a cable in steam-skidding.
  • noun A modification of the two-wheeled velocipede (which see).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A light vehicle having two wheels one behind the other. It has a saddle seat and is propelled by the rider's feet acting on cranks or levers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vehicle that has two wheels, one behind the other, a steering handle, and a saddle seat or seats and is usually propelled by the action of a rider’s feet upon pedals.
  • noun A traveling block used on a cable in skidding logs.
  • noun The best possible hand in lowball.
  • verb To travel or exercise using a bicycle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a wheeled vehicle that has two wheels and is moved by foot pedals
  • verb ride a bicycle


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably bi– + -cycle (on the model of tricycle, three-wheeled coach).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From bi- (“two”) +‎ Ancient Greek κύκλος (kuklos, "circle, wheel"), on the pattern of tricycle. (The English word is sometimes said to derive from French, but this is probably incorrect; French sources say the French word derives from English.)


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  • This everyday word always makes me have to think how to spell it! And I'm a good speller. But everytime I write it, or type it, I am tempted to spell it "bycicle". I have to dissect it as bi+cycle. It's an unusual case where "y" is pronounced as a short "i" (ih).

    May 5, 2008

  • "When the police subsequently raided the Bicycle Clinic, the Fire Department at first blocked them from entering for safety reasons. The building was so crammed with bicycles and bike parts that a Fire Department rescue squad had to remove the upper-floor windows and lower the bicycles by rope.

    That was just the beginning. An additional 200 bikes were seized in Mr. Kenk’s home. Ten landlords around the city reported that their garages had been rented by Mr. Kenk and were bulging with bicycles. As the police gathered the mounds of bikes, they also found cocaine, crack cocaine, about 15 pounds of marijuana and a stolen bronze sculpture of a centaur and a snake in battle."

    -- "In a Cyclist-Friendly City, a Black Hole for Bikes," New York Times online, 8/21/08

    August 22, 2008

  • “Tennis is known as a gentleman’s game and serving up bagels, or bicycles, as a 6-0, 6-0 set is called in Switzerland, was once viewed as bad sportsmanship.”

    The New York Times, Shut Out at Age 10, Federer Never Lost That Way Again, by Dave Seminara, May 21, 2010

    May 22, 2010