With the increasing use of adhesive bonding in structural joints in many applications, the interest in the behaviour of adhesive joints under cyclic loading has increased as well. Much work has already been performed on the analysis of adhesively bonded joints under static loading. Also the damage growth and failure mechanisms of adhesive joints under cyclic loading has been investigated, to a less extent for joints in composite structures. A major difficulty is the large amount of parameters that can be of influence on crack initiation and growth in adhesive joints. This makes it hard to characterise the debond behaviour of a joint. This article is intended to give an overview of studies performed on adhesive composite joints under cyclic loading on and to serve as a starting point for designers who need information on experimental and analytical methods of composite adhesive joints. (C) 1999 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.