My guesses are: recurring or cyclic order/service.

In what cases would you use one or the other?

Context: A customer can book a one-time service or choose an interval. I'd like to name a service that is not one-time but repeats every week/month etc.

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    I strongly agree with 'recurring service.' Please write it as an answer, @Max Williams, because answers posted as comments may get deleted. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 11:12
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    It's not worth an answer, especially when you already said it in your question. Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 11:27
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    Depending on what the service is, sometimes "subscription" is appropriate. For example : "As a platinum service subscriber you will be entitled to monthly product updates and 24/7 telephone support"
    – J...
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 18:53
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    Why not look at a calendar app on your phone or computer or online and see what term it uses?
    – k1eran
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 19:17
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    So far none of the answers tackle your question about when you would use one or the other - so I'm going to suggest 'recurring' for services, appointments etc ie events, whereas 'cyclic', IMO suggests something that moves through two or more different states; for instance the lunar cycle, 4-stroke cycle, cycle of the seasons. . .
    – peterG
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:40

8 Answers 8


There are several possible words that could be used here:

  1. regular, as @Lawrence suggests
  2. periodic (Oxford, definition 1, "Appearing or occurring at intervals.")
  3. recurring or recurrent, which you used in your question.
  4. repeating is a perfectly valid word for this use.
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    This should really be the accepted answer; regular is ok but somewhat ambiguous, because there is even a connotation of "Oh I see him regularly" that only means frequently, not periodically.
    – msouth
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 4:02
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    Periodic is what I would use when trying to focus on the interval.
    – IS4
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 20:40
  • I'm not a native English speaker, but in mathematics, periodic is the word used for this kind of regularity, something repeating with a constant interval. Isn't periodic also used for magazines that come out every week or month? Therefore I would use periodic.
    – md2perpe
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 12:28
  • @md2perpe: "Periodical", yes. Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 16:47
  • Definition 1 of what? Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 7:10

It's a regular service.

regular adjective 2 Recurring at uniform intervals. ‘a regular monthly check’ - ODO

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    To me, while this does indicate the type of service that is performed at regular intervals, it does not by-itself unambiguously indicate the recurring nature of an appointment. If someone says "we'll schedule your regular service for the 12th" I would not be 100% clear whether subsequent appointments would automatically fall on the 12th. At least, it would be more likely to interpret that if they said "we'll schedule recurring service on the 12th" Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 20:03
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    @DarrenRinger also, that could also be interpreted as "usual" Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 22:48
  • @DarrenRinger You bring up two points: recurrence and fixed dates. On recurrence, I disagree. While there may be ambiguity of definition (small / regular / large vs regular / irregular), once we're talking about "regular intervals" we're talking about something that recurs - otherwise, it would be a 'one-off' or 'ad hoc' service, not a 'regular' service. Fixed dates each month, however, does come within the semantic range of "regular intervals", as does last day of each month (which isn't the same number each month) - that ambiguity exists, but it isn't one the OP asked about.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 22:53
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    @Lawrence I'd have to disagree with the answer here. The asker has given context where he has included this sentence: "A customer can book a one-time service or choose an interval.". In your case he'd have to write something like "A customer can book a one-time service or choose a regular service/interval" which seems ambiguous. Remember that it's not just you who needs to understand this sentence unambiguously. Recurring just fits this sentence the best. (Also, a regular interval service would not indicate a recurring one. A recurring service is automatically billed.) Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 5:33
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    "Regular" Is often misused to mean "frequent". For example, UK law requires children to attend school regularly, but the courts would not be amused if you claimed than one day per year on the same day every year was regular, even though it plainly is.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 19:56

As others have mentioned, the usual expression is Recurring service

adjective UK ​ /rɪˈkɜː.rɪŋ/ US ​ /rɪˈkɝː.ɪŋ/
happening many times, or happening again



A "Subscription" is what I would go with. Especially if it's a service you are paying for, i.e... subscribing to.


In gardening, when you sow a crop at regular intervals (e.g. I sow lettuce every 2 weeks) it is called successive sowing.


There's nothing wrong with using weekly, monthly, daily or using once a [week/month/day].

For example using:

  • To get booked into a daily service.
  • We provide daily services.
  • Services provided daily.


  • To get booked into a service once a week.
  • We provide services once a week.
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    This doesn't answer the question. The question is: "What's the generic word for weekly/monthly etc. service?"
    – AndyT
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 9:04
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    @AndyT - Neither are any of the other answers. They're all just adjectives that modify the word service. Therefore, "There's nothing wrong with using..." is the answer
    – Mazura
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 0:36
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    @Mazura - I disagree with your "Neither are any of the other answers": "Regular", "Periodic" or "Recurring" are all words that generically cover the "weekly/monthly" part.
    – AndyT
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 11:08

cyclical as in :

cyclical events happen again and again in the same order or at the same times

  • Hello, Maclek. It's good to add supporting evidence, but it's essential to attribute and link so as to avoid breach of copyright. Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 10:35
  • And to avoid gaining unearned reputation.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 17:10

I think you should pay attention to your context more than anything else. Luckily for you, there is Amazon.com, to copy. They use "Subscribe and save" for recurring orders. I think it is simple and effective.

Amazon's terminology for recurring.

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