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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

*in a vicious circle

Fig. in a situation in which the solution of one problem leads to a second problem, and the solution of the second problem brings back the first problem, etc. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) Life is so strange. I seem to be in a vicious circle most of the time. I put lemon in my tea to make it sour, then sugar to make it sweet. I'm in a vicious circle. Don't let your life get into a vicious circle.
See also: circle, vicious

vicious circle

A series of events in which each problem creates another and worsens the original one. For example, The fatter I get, the unhappier I am, so I eat to cheer myself up, which makes me fatter yet-it's a vicious circle . This expression comes from the French cercle vicieux, which in philosophy means "a circular proof"-that is, the proof of one statement depends on a second statement, whose proof in turn depends on the first. One writer suggests that the English meaning of "vicious" helped the expression acquire its more pejorative present sense, used since 1839.
See also: circle, vicious

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

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


mod. great; excellent. Man, this burger is really vicious.
References in periodicals archive ?
This was a really vicious assault and isn't something that belongs in our city Det Insp Mal Stratton
Pretty Vicious were formed in the summer of 2014, when then-teenagers Brad Griffiths (vocals and guitar), Thomas McCarthy (guitar), Jarvis Morgan (bass) and Elliot Jones (drums) got together.
We've been talking with Island Records for a while and it was always going to be them," said Pretty Vicious co-manager Bryn Phillips, who looks after the band with fellow manager Mark McCarthy - who just so happen to be the dads of drummer Elliot Jones and guitarist Tom McCarthy.
They showed this from tiny puppies, and I discovered later that the mother dogs of the pups were themselves vicious and were eventually put to sleep.
The Vicious Cycle team is already working on two new titles for Little Orbit, scheduled for release next year.
You may hope it's not vicious; you may know that you didn't intend it to be vicious; you will comfort yourself in the knowledge that none of your male mates found it to be vicious; but, if any one of the women working in your team found it vicious, then vicious it was.
c) The necessity for the regulation and control of vicious and potentially dangerous dogs is a statewide problem, requiring state-wide regulation, and existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public health and safety posed by vicious and potentially dangerous dogs.
Summary judgment dismissing the action of an infant victim of a dog attack in Sers v Manasia, 280 AD2d 539 was affirmed as the victim of the dog attack failed to prove that the dog had vicious propensities, or knowledge of the dog's owners thereto, despite the fact that the dog was occasionally confined in a pen on the property, the nature and severity of the attack, evidence of the violent tendencies of the breed, and the use of "beware of dog" signs on the residence where the dog once lived.
Anne Beverley and Pistols' manager Malcolm McClaren were involved in a wrangle over where Vicious should be buried.
This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse" Prof Martin added.
I think all dogs that are either a banned breed or are vicious, should be removed and euthanised, for the safety of people, and also for the safety of us dog owners, who are constantly in fear of our dogs being attacked in our local park.
That can be the case, with a vicious delivery, it can be hard to head the ball out of the box.
Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani has condemned the vicious attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran by a group of Iranian demonstrators.
When she found fame, Susan faced an internet backlash so vicious that her achievements vicious that her achievements come with an extra helping of karmic justice.
mean, evil, vicious people didn't want him around for some reason" .