vicious

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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

vicious

(ˈvɪʃəs)
mod. great; excellent. Man, this burger is really 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 ?
To allow an animal to walk free after viciously asaulting Mr Harker a security guard who was only doing his job.
A CHURCHGOER was viciously attacked on the steps of the church.
His full remarks on The Statesman read: "For eight months leading up to June, my family and I had been relentlessly and viciously harassed by the Idaho Statesman.
A police spokesman said: "She bravely tried to help a person in trouble and was viciously attacked as a result.
During our more than 25 years of activism, we have seen groups viciously attack others who don't use tactics that they feel are extreme enough.
A MAN viciously attacked in the street has died in hospital.
In fact, the technique has a special status in that city since the creation, 16 years ago, of the 'half-time club', where up-and-coming young architects are invited to present their work (in a bar, naturally), to a viciously critical audience.
I told her that I never read the Star because it was viciously anti-Catholic, and anti-religious.
In a court case published on September 6 and involving a teenager who viciously attacked the father and brother of transsexual Lauren Harries, the defendant was described as the ringleader of the gang involved.
While there's nothing especially gay about Land's account of his junior year of college, spent recovering from a brutal beating the previous year and being viciously hazed by his brother's fraternity, the subject matter has attracted gay and gay-friendly talent.
And Daschle and Clinton presided over the most viciously anti-gun administration in the history of the Republic.
The classwork involves being flung repeatedly against the ropes and flying back to the center of the ring, only to be knocked down viciously with a forearm across the chest.
A gang of four drunken teens on a lark viciously attack the blond.
A TEENAGE gang who viciously attacked two men were being hunted for attempted murder last night.