a vicious circle

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vicious circle

A negative situation that is constantly maintained or worsened, rather than resolved. Underdeveloped countries are often stuck in a vicious circle of poverty that their citizens can never overcome. I use my credit card because I don't make enough money to pay my bills, and as soon as I get paid, any extra money goes toward my credit card bill. That vicious circle is why I'm constantly broke!
See also: circle, vicious
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a vicious circle

COMMON If you describe a difficult situation as a vicious circle, you mean that one problem has caused other problems which, in turn, have made the original problem even worse. The economy couldn't create jobs because consumers weren't spending. Consumers weren't spending because the economy wasn't creating jobs. And this was the vicious circle we were caught in. According to the report, patients discharged from hospitals are being thrust into a vicious circle of poverty and illnesses. Note: This refers to the error in logic of trying to prove the truth of one statement by a second statement, which in turn relies on the first for proof. The expression is a translation of the Latin `circulus vitiosus', meaning `a flawed circular argument'.
See also: circle, vicious
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a vicious ˈcircle

a difficult situation or problem where one thing makes another thing happen, which then makes the first thing happen again: He spends too much on drink because he’s worried about his financial problems, and so the situation gets worse and worse. It’s a vicious circle.
See also: circle, vicious
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
"I consider, on the contrary, that the two questions are inseparably connected together," said Pestsov; "it is a vicious circle. Woman is deprived of rights from lack of education, and the lack of education results from the absence of rights.
Turkish Cypriot 'foreign minister' Kudret Ozersay has said that talks had turned into a vicious circle and that other alternatives were needed.
If this issue raises its head and you also have state bailouts of the banking sector, it becomes a vicious circle. It adds another layer of complexity.'
Everton appear to be trapped in a vicious circle of their own making.
Violence is a vicious circle and we should not be surprised when "terrorists" hit back at us when we invade their countries.
"It is a vicious circle problem and you can only deal with that calmly and by dominating your nerves," said Wenger.
Commenting on authority discussions in jurisdiction, President Abdullah Gul said, "this is a vicious circle. What is necessary to get rid of this is very clear.
In addition to needing flood protection and basic infrastructure, which only the government can provide, rebuilding is being blocked by a vicious circle of uncertainty.
"This, under the current proposal, would be a contribution or 'tax' levied on the weak and could be the final straw, causing a vicious circle of insolvencies.
'They enter a vicious circle where there is no way out.
Surely by using such criteria a vicious circle is created.
They're excited because they see an opportunity to turn what's become a vicious circle into virtuous cycle-saving time, money and hassle.
It's a vicious circle: A good, experienced development director with connections would help us out, but we don't have the money yet to hire one.
Big Sam said: "As hard as we try to prevent injuries, it is an impossibility because of the demand on the players - and that demand comes because the player wants ever more money to play for you, so it's a vicious circle.
ANKARA, Feb 18, 2010 (TUR) -- Turkish President Abdullah Gul expressed his regret over recent discussions about judiciary and added, "this is a vicious circle. Turkey should get itself out of it quickly.