vicious cycle


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

vicious cycle

any situation in which an action (e.g. an attempt to resolve a social problem) tends to bring about a further reaction which offsets any gain brought about by the initial action, perhaps tending to bring a return to the state which led to the initial action or exacerbating the initial problem, e.g. an inflationary spiral in which incomes and prices chase each other, and where attempts to control inflation by increased taxation in themselves increase prices. In contrast, a virtuous cycle exists where an action to effect an outcome automatically leads to further outcomes which assist in the achieving of this outcome.
References in periodicals archive ?
These results suggest that in children, early interventions including both targeted weight loss and appropriate treatments for OSA are critical to breaking this vicious cycle between poor sleep and obesity in order to prevent chronic disease later in life.
North Carolina-based Vicious Cycle specialises in developing licenced titles, including Ben 10: Omniverse, Madagascar 3: The Video Game and Flushed Away.
Prof Martin Underwood, from Warwick Medical School, who led the NICE panel, said: "This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse.
LIMA, Peru -- At least haft of the land in the Latin America and the Caribbean region is degraded, and this "creates a vicious cycle in the rural areas: overexploitation and degradation of the soil, increased demands for production, more poverty, food insecurity, migration," according to a recent study from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean reported in Latinamerica Press.
Ban is also appealing to involved parties in the conflict to break from the vicious cycle of attack and retaliation, which he said ''only leads to more bloodshed and victims.
Stressing that discrimination has been severely underplayed rather than regarded as a primary cause of African American unemployment, President Reagan's Conservative Fiscal Policy decries America's failure to break a vicious cycle of poverty, crime, and unemployment among African Americans and meticulously dissectes what did not work for the benefit of future efforts to combat this social problem.
Cash-strapped, the institution compromised its hard-earned academic reputation, leading to a vicious cycle of needing still more financial aid to attract a desirable class.
Attention to historical detail and dialogue distinguish this powerful saga about breaking out of the vicious cycle of abuse.
It's easy to see how the marketing folks at OLN can feel as if they've been caught in a vicious cycle.
US domination of globalization and its refusal to cooperate with the world community to improve humanity's situation has contributed to the growth of anti-Americanism and with it the vicious cycle of the migration of dreams and nightmares.
The movie portrays the vicious cycle experienced by seven addicts who agreed to have their daily lives captured on film.