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

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

vicious circle

A series of events in which the solution of one difficulty creates another or worsens the original problem. This expression comes from the philosophical discipline of logic, where it means proving one statement by another that itself rests on the first for proof; it is also known as “circular reasoning.” George du Maurier used it in Peter Ibbetson (1892): “The wretcheder one is, the more one smokes; and the more one smokes, the wretcheder one gets—a vicious circle.”
See also: circle, vicious
References in periodicals archive ?
With a small upfront investment of time and attention, senior living communities can put in place a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan that turns the vicious circle into a virtuous cycle.
The driving force behind the vicious circle is not only the global competition but also the increase in the expectations of the stakeholders and hence the value system of the organization.
They form many economic and social circles which social scientists call the 'Vicious Circles'.
"Once they have these thoughts they feel guilty and subsequently make attempts to suppress and neutralise them, but fail, so entering into a vicious circle."
"It is a vicious circle problem and you can only deal with that calmly and by dominating your nerves," said Wenger.
"For younger children the feeling must be even more scary as it's hard to understand why you can't breathe and panic can exacerbate the situation, so it's a vicious circle."
Prof Nick Wilson of the CMRC said: "For many companies it is a vicious circle - they often resort to the courts to chase bad debts but often, by the time it gets to court the debtor has gone out of business.
Gerry Barr, President-CEO of the Canadian Council of International Co-operation, points out that, "Poverty fuels the AIDS pandemic and AIDS is devastating communities and local economies, relegating millions to live and die in poverty." He adds, "Women and children are bearing the brunt of this pandemic--this vicious circle can and must be stopped." The government of Canada should set an example for the G8 countries by bringing its international development contributions up to the long recommended standard of 0.7% of gross national income.
Though widely performed, the plays ( Yesterday's Children, Long Shadows, The Vicious Circle and Postcard from God ( have never before been published.
Not much can be done about greed, but we should do our best to break the vicious circle in which hate, distrust and prejudice against nations and peoples is handed on from one generation to another.
Let's break this vicious circle - The battle to raise the standard of living in our region has taken a setback yet again with shortfalls in funding from national government.
Drama enthusiasts from People To People Community Theatre group are performing Vicious Circle at the Belgrade Studio.
At the same time, loss of identity is always the subject being depicted--a vicious circle, but a productive one.
Artistic director Andre-Line Beauparlant, whose name appeared on the credits of two of 2001's most important films-Mariages and La Femme qui boit-also directed two documentaries, the short Elvis I'Italiano and the acclaimed feature Trois princesses pour Roland, a harsh and gripping yet incredibly tender cinema verite-style portrait of three generations of women stuck in a vicious circle of abuse, violence and poverty.
But last year's winner, Vicious Circle, is not certain to attempt a repeat success.