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The process by which a pejorative term is replaced by a more politically correct term, only to over time be corrupted and used pejoratively itself until a new term is introduced, upon which the cycle repeats itself.

So named because walking on a treadmill gives you the illusion of going somewhere, when actually not making any progress. Basically a form of political correctness masturbation.
The best example of a euphemism treadmill is the word "retarded", which was originally adopted as a more apt and kinder alternative to previous medical terms such as "moron", "imbecile", and "idiot".

"Retarded" is currently considered a pejorative insult, so new terms have been invented such as "special needs" and "intellectualy disabled" , which will in time become pejorative insults themselves. Thus retarded SJW's, downie parents, and the self-righteous will always have something to bitch about.
by Frank Marlowe May 12, 2016
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A euphemism is a term or a phrase used by individuals to refer to a controversial topic as overwhelmingly inoffensive as possible, as opposed to being politically incorrect (aka "enthusiastically offensive").

Unfortunately, the overuse of a euphemism will eventually devolve its meaning to the extent that itself becomes politically incorrect and will have to be replaced with another euphemism. This is a sociolinguistic phenomenon to as the "euphemism treadmill".
The term "mental retardation" was once a euphemism and politically correct term used to describe stupidity. The previous term was imbecile which was an actual medical category which comprised of idiots (IQ 0 to 25), imbeciles (IQ 26 to 50), and morons (IQ 51 to 70).

Over time, mental retardation and its associated verb "retard" became as corrupted as "imbecile" and "idiot" and was eventually replaced with "intellectual disability". It is now only a matter of time when being "disabled" is offensive and once again, slides down the euphemism treadmill.
by Ἀπολλύων October 21, 2016
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