Pronunciation: [waw-ter, wot-er sahy-kuh l]
1. hydrologic cycle
2. The circulation of water through the acts of evaporation, condensation, transpiration, runoff, infiltration and precipitation
Example sentence: The first step of the water cycle occurs when the sun heats water, turning it to a gas from its original liquid state.
First used in: 1928
In context: When you boil water in a pot, a lot of the water becomes steam and evaporates. This is the first step of the water cycle. After the water evaporates, the water gathers on the top of the lid of the pot (2nd step of water cycle). When too much water gathers on the lid, the droplets start to fall back into the pot. This represents precipitation, the 3rd step of the water cycle. As long as the water is heated, this cycle keeps repeating.