Definition of vicious circle in US English:

vicious circle

(also vicious cycle)

noun

  • A sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.

    ‘debtors were caught in a vicious circle: they could not be freed until they had paid their debt, and were not able to pay their debt as long as they were in prison’
    • ‘Independent and pluralistic media can make a significant contribution to breaking this vicious circle by enabling dialogue to replace armed conflict.’
    • ‘Shareholder groups are increasingly important as challengers of irresponsible corporate governance, but there is an ironic and dangerous vicious circle here.’
    • ‘Once this vicious circle is ingrained, any person who warns an employer is within his rights.’
    • ‘I realised that this was a tragic and vicious circle, so I created a character that would expose this.’
    • ‘So it rolls on right to the top, this vicious circle of corruption.’
    • ‘This fact introduces yet another element to the vicious cycle of hardship faced by rural farmers and their families.’
    • ‘One direct result of this vicious circle was that many parents remained dubious about the quality of non-government education.’
    • ‘He hopes that vicious circle can now be broken by allowing shoppers to trade too.’
    • ‘It is exactly this vicious circle of mismatched perception and spiralling threat that has led to the current impasse.’
    • ‘To break this vicious circle, leaders need to model a different way of treating others.’
    • ‘Last summer, in order to break this vicious circle, I resorted to spraying some of my paths with Roundup.’
    • ‘She paints a grim portrait of divorce's vicious circle of depleted resources, emotional and financial.’
    • ‘Finally, this vicious circle continues to promote alveolar septal cell death and eventually leads to pulmonary emphysema.’
    • ‘Only an initiative ‘from below’ can break out of this vicious circle of economic war and dismantling of social welfare.’
    • ‘As you can imagine, when all these areas are interacting negatively you have a very large vicious circle.’
    • ‘Basically, though, this sort of vicious circle is a very common type of situation in parliamentary politics.’
    • ‘What this adds up to is that the world economy is trapped in a kind of vicious circle.’
    • ‘Journalists yearn for interesting politicians to write about and interview, yet they contribute to this vicious circle.’
    • ‘So another dangerously vicious circle seems to be operating: high taxes discourage work, and because fewer jobs are created, fertility is discouraged.’
    • ‘In hopes of preventing this vicious circle, it has also embraced the idea of imposing stricter rules on banks' shareholdings so that they will be less vulnerable to falling stock prices.’
    quandary, predicament, difficulty, problem, puzzle, conundrum, awkward situation, tricky situation, difficult situation, difficult choice, catch-22, plight, mess, muddle
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

vicious circle

/ˈvɪʃəs ˈsərkəl//ˈviSHəs ˈsərkəl/