Definition of vicious circle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


vicious circle

BrE BrE//ˌvɪʃəs ˈsɜːkl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌvɪʃəs ˈsɜːrkl//
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a situation in which one problem causes another problem which then makes the first problem worse compare virtuous circleExtra examples He was trapped in a vicious circle of addiction and petty crime. She can’t see any way to break out of this vicious circle. Stress and fatigue can create a vicious circle.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: vicious circle