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Etymology 1Edit

Blend of down +‎ recycle.


downcycle (third-person singular simple present downcycles, present participle downcycling, simple past and past participle downcycled)

  1. (transitive) To convert (waste materials, etc.) into new materials or products of lower quality and reduced functionality.
    • 2004, Michael Renner, “Moving toward a Less Consumptive Economy”, in Linda Starke, editor, State of the World 2004: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress toward a Sustainable Society, New York, N.Y.; London: W. W. Norton & Company, →ISBN, page 108:
      Nike set up a "Reuse-a-Shoe" program to "downcycle" old sneakers. The outsole rubber and midsole foam from used shoes are converted into surface material for running tracks and other athletic facilities and playgrounds. The fabric from the shoe uppers becomes padding under carpets.

Etymology 2Edit

down +‎ cycle.


downcycle (plural downcycles)

  1. A period of a cycle where something is decreasing or deteriorating.
    • 2007, Christopher E. H. Ross; Lane E. Sloan, “Learning from the Past”, in Terra Incognita: A Navigation Aid for Energy Leaders, Tulsa, Okla.: PenWell Corporation, →ISBN, page 36:
      Because commodity industries, including energy, are driven by costs, a pricing down-cycle brings major cost cutting efforts, often involving restructurings and consolidations to increase economies of scale.
    • 2014, Morten Tolboll, “The Dream Hypothesis and the Brain-in-jar Hypothesis”, in The Matrix Conspiracy: Part 1, Livermore, Calif.: WingSpan Press, →ISBN:
      It is precisely these logical anomalies, paradoxes and problems, which create Samsara's wheel of eternal repeating up-cycles which is followed by eternal repeating down-cycles and vice versa (for example life and death, success and fiasco, joy and sorrow) – as well as the ignorance and suffering when you are caught into this wheel, for example in the experience of nightmare and anxiety.
    • 2016, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, “Companies are Adjusting to the Downcycle”, in Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2016, [New York, N.Y.?]: United Nations, →ISBN:
      [M]ost experts agree that a downcycle is in progress and are expecting demand from emerging countries and regions such as India, South-East Asia and even Africa, to eventually rebound to the point where it once again outstrips supply.
    • 2017, Harry S. Dent, Jr.; Andrew Pancholi, “Deep in the Heart of Winter: There’s Just No Denying that Major Winter Cycles Come Once in a Lifetime”, in Teresa van den Barselaar, editor, Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage, New York, N.Y.: Portfolio/Penguin, →ISBN:
      Again, the current down cycle is anomalous, with the Fed's monetary policies encouraging unusually high levels of stock buybacks and fruitless mergers.
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