vicious circle

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - vicious circle

"vicious circle"

a repeating situation or condition in which one problem causes another problem that makes the first problem worse


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - vicious circle

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: This is not good. The company gets into trouble because of declining sales so it lays off salespeople. And because the sales force is decreased, sales decline even further. Another round of lay offs ensues. The future looks bleak.

Colleague 2: I agree. It is a vicious circle. Disaster is imminent unless the cycle can be broken.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - vicious circle

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I hear the charity group you are involved in is doing some really good work. What is it exactly that the group works on?

Friend 2: We want to break the vicious circle of inner-city poverty and violence.

Friend 1: That must be a difficult task. If people simply don't have the skills or resources to better themselves, how can their children learn any better and not get stuck in the same situation as their parents?

Friend 2: Our group provides education and access to micro-loans and other programs to help.

Test Your Understanding  

vicious circle - Usage:


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vicious circle - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for vicious circle.

vicious circle - Examples:

1)  It's a vicious circle that's now spun out of control, to the point where we now ...

2)  ... still possible to be drained by other drainers in what becomes a sort of vicious circle whereby each of you feeds off one another for an energy refill, draining ...

3)   This becomes an ugly world, trapped in a vicious circle. Short-term mindsets drive zero sum mindsets which drive threat based narratives which reinforce ...

4)  ... is one reason why being a small share brand in certain categories can become a vicious circle that perpetuates itself.

5)  ... they have no aspirations of anything better for themselves or their children continuing the vicious circle all over again.

6)  A vicious circle ensued; exaggerated production reports from below emboldened the higher-ups to set even loftier ...

7)  Haiti is caught in a vicious circle connecting environmental degradation, poverty, and agricultural stagnation.

8)  Pre-Islamic Arabia was caught up in a vicious circle of warfare, in which tribe fought tribe in a pattern of vendetta and ...

9)  ... has lost his desire to exercise as he used to. This pattern forms a vicious circle because the less Roger sleeps the more likely he is to eat.

10)  And once they begin, it becomes a vicious circle that is almost impossible to rectify, ...

11)  It's a vicious circle. You may sincerely believe that gambling more money is the only way to ...

12)  If this trend continues, it will lead to a vicious circle of poverty and violence.

13)  ... complications increases exponentially at higher gestations, so many poor women become trapped in a vicious circle in which their difficulties are exacerbated and their health risks increased. 

14)  The first priority, of course, must be to break the vicious circle of weak growth and weak balance sheets feeding negatively off each other. 

15)  So we got into our own little vicious circle. The more I needed him, the more withdrawn he became, and ...

16)  ... when you're in a slump can become a habit, starting a vicious circle that's very hard to break.

17)  Efforts to combat Medicare fraud frequently fail, and they can involve a vicious circle. Cracking down on fraud may open new opportunities for fraud. 

18)  And also because those diminishing revenue streams feed a vicious circle -- the less money that comes in, the fewer staff members who can ...

19)  ... to speed up to provide enough blood for oxygen transport. The result is a vicious circle, where stress prompts shallow breathing, which in turn creates more stress, ...

20)  The first phase of bulimia treatment focuses on stopping the vicious circle of binging and purging and restoring normal eating patterns.