Also found in: Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Catch-22: Joseph Heller
Catch-22also catch-22 (kăch′twĕn-tē-to͞o′, kĕch′-)
1. A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently contradictory rules or conditions: "In the Catch-22 of a closed repertoire, only music that is already familiar is thought to deserve familiarity" (Joseph McLennan).
2. A contradictory or self-defeating course of action: "The Catch-22 of his administration was that every grandiose improvement scheme began with community dismemberment" (Village Voice).
3. A tricky or disadvantageous condition; a catch: "Of course, there is a Catch-22 with Form 4868—you are supposed to include a check if you owe any additional tax, otherwise you face some penalties" (New York).
[After Catch-22, a novel by Joseph Heller.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. a situation in which a person is frustrated by a paradoxical rule or set of circumstances that preclude any attempt to escape from them
2. a situation in which any move that a person can make will lead to trouble
[C20: from the title of a novel (1961) by the US writer J. Heller (1923–99)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. Catch-22's, Catch-22s.
1. a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions.
2. any illogical or paradoxical problem or situation; dilemma.
3. a condition, regulation, etc., preventing the resolution of a problem or situation; catch.
[from a military regulation in a novel of the same name (1961) by U.S. novelist Joseph Heller]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
catch-22[ˈkætʃˌtwɛntɪˈtuː] n it's a catch-22 situation → non c'è via d'uscita
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995