catch-22 Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “catch-22” in the English Dictionary

"catch-22" in British English

See all translations

catch-22noun [S or U]

uk   us   /ˌkætʃ.twen.tiˈtuː/
an ​impossiblesituation where you are ​prevented from doing one thing until you have done another thing that you cannot do until you have done the first thing: a catch-22 situation
(Definition of catch-22 from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"catch-22" in American English

See all translations

catch-22noun [C]

 us   /ˈkætʃ ˌtwen·t̬iˈtu, ˈketʃ/
a ​situation in which there are only two ​possibilities, and you cannot do either because each ​depends on having done the other first
(Definition of catch-22 from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"catch-22" in Business English

See all translations

catch-22noun [U]

uk   us  
a difficult ​situation in which the ​solution to a problem is impossible because it is also the cause of the problem: But it is a catch-22 ​situation - you can't get ​people without ​funding, but you can't get ​funding without the ​people there in the first ​place.
(Definition of catch-22 from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of catch-22?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
faith school

a school that is financially supported by a particular religious group, usually for children from that religion

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by Cambridge Dictionaries Online,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More