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May 17, 2012
This week's theme
Words with allusions to geometrical shapes

This week's words
triangulate
foursquare
trapeze
vicious circle
orthogonal

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

vicious circle

PRONUNCIATION:
(VISH-uhs SUHR-kuhl)

MEANING:
noun: A situation in which a problem causes other problems, which in turn make the original problem worse.
A vicious circle can also be a situation where an effort to solve a problem gives rise to the conditions which aggravate the original problem.
Also known as a vicious cycle. The opposite is a virtuous circle.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin circulus (circle) + vitiosus (flawed). Earliest documented use: 1792.

USAGE:
"'It's a vicious circle: no R&D investment, no drugs, no revenue, no R&D investment,' Mardi Dier said."
Ariel Levy; Drug Test: Letter From Bangalore; The New Yorker; Jan 2, 2012.

See more usage examples of vicious circle in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)

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