virtuous circle

noun

variants or virtuous cycle
: a chain of events in which one desirable occurrence leads to another which further promotes the first occurrence and so on resulting in a continuous process of improvement
But the economy is depressed, in large part, because of the housing bust, which immediately suggests the possibility of a virtuous circle: an improving economy leads to a surge in home purchases, which leads to more construction, which strengthens the economy further, and so on.Paul Krugman

Examples of virtuous circle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In challenge competitions, the networks that were measurably more effective would prevail, which would then put them in a position to attract more people, funds, and connections, creating a virtuous circle. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2021 That virtuous circle depends on freedoms in a political context under direct threat from the populist authoritarianism movement led by Donald Trump. Michael S. Roth, TIME, 23 Apr. 2024 Whether by causation, correlation or coincidence, there does appear to some sort of virtuous circle, with strong soft power helping to boost trade and investment while success in trade and investment enhances soft power. Courtney Fingar, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Alloy’s foundational principal of crafting a virtuous circle of books, TV shows and movies has not changed, even if more of its characters are of drinking and voting age. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024 And as the number of subscribers, and therefore viewers, goes up so does the price for ads, creating a virtuous circle in which growing one begets the other. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2024 This virtuous circle reduces the labor pool, which can lead companies to pay less attention to skills and initial training in favor of hiring more automatically. Philippe Riveron, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Weinreich, for example, argues that the status quo is effectively ossified by the fact that, every year, the same teams — led by Bayern — receive vast windfalls for competing in the Champions League, creating what is, in effect, an unbreakable virtuous circle. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 And on and on, in a beautiful, virtuous circle. David G. Allan, CNN, 24 May 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'virtuous circle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1903, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of virtuous circle was in 1903

Dictionary Entries Near virtuous circle

Cite this Entry

“Virtuous circle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/virtuous%20circle. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

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