April 23, 2019
catch-22 (noun)
\KATCH-twen-tee-TOO\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a bad situation for which there is no possible solution because of a rule or circumstance that is part of the problem; also : the rule or circumstance that makes a solution impossible
How do you use it?
In his search for a summer job, Jon was frustrated by a catch-22: to get a job, he needed experience, but to get experience, he needed a job.
Are you a word wiz?

"Catch-22" is a colorful expression that comes from the title of something. What is titled "Catch-22"?

In his 1961 satiric novel, _Catch-22_, Joseph Heller coined the phrase "catch-22" for a situation where a fighter pilot could get out of flying missions if he declared he was insane and unfit to fly, but by knowing he was insane and unfit to fly, he proved he was actually sane and then had to fly. As Heller puts it, the character "would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them." Not long after Heller's novel was published, "catch-22" was being used as an expression for any such illogical situation.
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