Idiom:  a vicious circle


Idiom:  a vicious circle / cycle

  • a process of repeating events in which one problem causes other problems, making the original problem worse

Example sentences

  • Extreme dieting always causes a vicious circle where the dieter initially loses a lot of weight but then gains back more weight than when they first started the diet.
  • Lying creates a vicious circle as you have to keep telling new lies to cover the old ones.
  • I was in a vicious cycle when I was in debt, paying one credit card with a cash advance from another credit card until I finally had to declare bankruptcy.
  • Depression can cause a vicious cycle where a loss of motivation causes things not to get done, which creates anxiety, which causes the person to feel more depressed and so on.
  • My wife and I were in a vicious circle after we had a baby with severe medical problems and our marriage never recovered.
  • As hormone levels drop, there can be a vicious cycle of stress-symptoms-anxiety, where a woman's stress level causes her perimenopause symptoms to be worse, leading to anxiety.


  • (be) going down the drain/tube
  • (negative) chain of events
  • downward spiral


  • virtuous cycle
  • virtuous circle

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