Definition of cyclopolitan

cy·clo·pol·i·tan  [sahy-kluh-pol-i-tn] p cyclopolitans


  1. a person who habitually uses a cycle for transport; does not dress specifically for cycling
  2. a pedestrian who uses a bicycle to increase efficiency and carrying capacity
  3. a person who is aware of global imperatives and embraces cyclopolitanism in his or her ideas, life, etc.
  4. a person who is free from car dependence or automobile-biased attachment


  1. having sophistication as a traveler
  2. of or characteristic of a cyclopolitan (n)
  3. at ease with or on pedal-driven wheeled transport
  4. having cycle-inclusive transport equality


Coined by Unity Finesmith 2012; cycle (from the Latin cyclus, meaning “cycle”, “circle” or “wheel”)  + politan (from the Greek Politan, meaning “city” or “Municipal”)


cy·clo·pol·i·tan·ism abstract noun [sahy-kluh-pol-i-tn-izm]
urban cycle movement occurring or growing in various parts of the world

Related forms

  • cy·clo·pol·i·tan·ise verb
  • cy·clo·pol·i·tan·ate adjective
  • cy·clo·pol·i·tan·ly adverb
  • non·cy·clo·pol·i·tan adjective, noun
  • un·cy·clo·pol·i·tan adjective


sophisticated, wheeled-pedestrian, forward-thinking, citizen-cyclist, well-traveled, tolerant, ‘cool’, bicycle-friendly


car-centric, parochial, closed-minded, backwards-thinking, limited, insular, narrow-minded, blinkered, conservative, boorish

Example of (hopefully) common usage

  • Copenhagen and Auckland are cyclopolitan cities.
  • Governments around the world are allocating funding to cyclopolitanise their towns and cities to mitigate increasing congestion and air pollution.
  • Amsterdam has a great deal of cyclopolitanate infrastructure.
  • Mark and Jenny are apartment dwellers in New York and are cyclopolitans.

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  1. […] I have used this word as the name for the new central site that houses the content pages that repeat on Cycling in Auckland, Cycling in Wellington and Cycling in Christchurch. So head over to and check out the full definition. […]

  2. […] is a Cyclopolitan, you may ask? Find out here! In search of bike […]

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