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’
    • ‘Journalists yearn for interesting politicians to write about and interview, yet they contribute to this vicious circle.’
    • ‘As you can imagine, when all these areas are interacting negatively you have a very large vicious circle.’
    • ‘She paints a grim portrait of divorce's vicious circle of depleted resources, emotional and financial.’
    • ‘Only an initiative ‘from below’ can break out of this vicious circle of economic war and dismantling of social welfare.’
    • ‘It is exactly this vicious circle of mismatched perception and spiralling threat that has led to the current impasse.’
    • ‘Last summer, in order to break this vicious circle, I resorted to spraying some of my paths with Roundup.’
    • ‘One direct result of this vicious circle was that many parents remained dubious about the quality of non-government education.’
    • ‘Finally, this vicious circle continues to promote alveolar septal cell death and eventually leads to pulmonary emphysema.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Once this vicious circle is ingrained, any person who warns an employer is within his rights.’
    • ‘Shareholder groups are increasingly important as challengers of irresponsible corporate governance, but there is an ironic and dangerous vicious circle here.’
    • ‘This fact introduces yet another element to the vicious cycle of hardship faced by rural farmers and their families.’
    • ‘What this adds up to is that the world economy is trapped in a kind of vicious circle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He hopes that vicious circle can now be broken by allowing shoppers to trade too.’
    • ‘Independent and pluralistic media can make a significant contribution to breaking this vicious circle by enabling dialogue to replace armed conflict.’
    • ‘So another dangerously vicious circle seems to be operating: high taxes discourage work, and because fewer jobs are created, fertility is discouraged.’
    • ‘To break this vicious circle, leaders need to model a different way of treating others.’
    • ‘Basically, though, this sort of vicious circle is a very common type of situation in parliamentary politics.’
    quandary, predicament, difficulty, problem, puzzle, conundrum, awkward situation, tricky situation, difficult situation, difficult choice, catch-22, plight, mess, muddle
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

vicious circle

/ˈviSHəs ˈsərkəl//ˈvɪʃəs ˈsərkəl/