English Error for「悪循環」

I’m not a native, but I’ve only ever heard ‘cycle’ (or maybe subconsciously read it as so?). In my mind ‘circle’ is more of static thing, whereas ‘cycle’ indicates some kind of movement and direction. That’s why I find it more fitting, but obviously both seem to be valid.


yeah, I’ve only ever heard vicious cycle, but used as a group of things that make things worse (i.e. a buildup of homework --> stayign up late to finish -->tiredness and lack of sleep make you less productive --> more work --> stayign up later --> etc.)
To me it shows a movement and progression, like it gets worse (like in the above example), and generally it’s hard to escape. Exclusively i hear vicious cycle, or it just sounds wrong to me (i do speak Australian English though, so dunno how much of an authority that is)

although now I think about it, I have only heard vicious circle used as referring to something like a circle of friends, or a circle of influences, but it has more static connotations, more like a wall or a place. the vicious circle could initiate a vicious cycle, i guess, but i only hear the circle very very rarely as a synonym of a circle of bad influence.


Not that it matters, but in Germany we call it “circle” too, Teufelskreis, “Devil’s circle” :smiley:

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Grew up in Western France, and we actually say ‘viscious poscicle’, so…


I only knew of the “sequence of actions that get worse and worse feeding each other”-meaning, but apparently according to Merriam-Webster it can also mean “an argument that begs the question”. Only those two definitions, though. It does mention that:

Today, vicious cycle is a common variant for the “chain of events” sense. Vicious spiral, in which the ill effects are cumulative as well as self-aggravating, puts in an occasional appearance as well.

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I’m team circle



I find it hilarious that I’ve only ever heard vicious circle be corrected to cycle (in pop culture, most recently in the movie Love Guaranteed), only to now find out both are valid, with the former even possibly more correct!

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Ha! I’ve never heard (or didn’t pay attention to) the phrase vicious cycle! Vicious circle seems natural to me. I’m not a native speaker though :woman_shrugging:

Found some source saying vicious circle is 40% more frequently used in modern print media compared to vicious cycle.

@Mods Maybe add an alternate meaning for this one?

Yeah, this better get resolved, otherwise we might get stuck in a terrible merry-go-round here :wink:


負のスパイラル (downward spiral) uses ’ vicious circle’ as alternate meaning. Some how this search led to パリ症候群

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