Definition of vicious circle in English:

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vicious circle

Pronunciation: /ˈviSHəs ˈsərkəl/
(also vicious cycle)


1A sequence of reciprocal cause and effect in which two or more elements intensify and aggravate each other, leading inexorably to a worsening of the situation.
Example sentences
  • She paints a grim portrait of divorce's vicious circle of depleted resources, emotional and financial.
  • Once this vicious circle is ingrained, any person who warns an employer is within his rights.
  • To break this vicious circle, leaders need to model a different way of treating others.
dilemma, vicious cycle, downward spiral, vortex, no-win situation, catch-22, chicken-and-egg situation
2 Logic A definition or statement that begs the question.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: vi·cious cir·cle

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