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Definition of CATCH-22
: a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule <the show-business catch–22—no work unless you have an agent, no agent unless you've worked — Mary Murphy>; also: the circumstance or rule that denies a solution
a: an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation
b: a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended
c: a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives
: a hidden difficulty or means of entrapment :catch