Idiom: 'Catch-22'

What does 'Catch-22' mean?

Meaning:

Catch-22 is a situation where conflicting rules make the desired outcome impossible. It comes from a novel by the American author Joseph Heller, in which pilots would not have to fly missions if they were mentally ill, but not wanting to fly dangerous missions was held to be proof of sanity, so they had to fly anyway.

('Catch 22', without the hyphen, is also used.)

Contributor:

Country: International English | Subject Area: Numbers | Usage Type: Both or All Words Used

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