quite the predicament, where objective 1 cannot be obtained without the completion of objective 2, which cannot be obtained without objective 1, because of a set of often incoherent rules or laws
a catch 22:

what would happen if you went back in time to kill your grandfather?

if you were to do so, logic would state that you would not exist to go back in time and kill your grandfather, therefore you would exist because you would not be able to kill him, however you would exist only to kill your grandfather, in which case you would not exist
by CSS December 21, 2005
catch-22 has 3 definitions
1. A situation where both choices would have negative impacts on oneself.
2.An excellent and witty book about WWII
3.A extremely awesome ska band.
one:Dude, what a catch-22 we're in!
two:did you read that excellent book, Catch-22 yet?
Three: Sweet man! I'm going to the Catch-22 concert this april!
by Rudycan't fail March 10, 2005
A phrase made popular by the book, a Catch-22 is a situation where desired solutions are impossible due to illogical rules.

It is VERY similar to the phrase: 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'.
History class was a catch-22. Either you completed hours of work or you got scolded and hurt from neglecting it. Or you had to pay for someone else to do it. There seemed to be no desirable option.
by Erin Wolf The Werewolf August 17, 2005
Illogical, but none the less trapping, set of contradictions.
(Often a commentary on bureaucracy. From Joseph Heller's Book of the same name.)

anything to do with Mads
Here are some more good examples of a Catch 22:
(To add to the ones other people have added).

A company won't hire you without experience in the field. But you can't get experience in the field if you won't be hired.

or
: You can't get to work without getting your car fixed and because can't get to work you can't make money and can't fix your car.

EDIT: And a catch-22 does NOT mean a choice with only undesirable outcomes. That's "being in a bind,". It more like "being between a rock and hard place". Nothing you can do about it. No choice, not even bad choices. Totally Stuck.

Hey Mads, thought you might look here :).
This word definitely applies to most things to do with you.
by trwood July 22, 2008
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
I hate school, its a Catch 22.
by Jakabones January 14, 2006
A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules
The following is a rather common Catch 22,

Conservatives usually claim one of two things about liberals:
1) They're so open-minded their brains have fallen out
2) They're close-minded hypocrites who are only tolerant of opinions they agree with.
Clearly, these two points of view cannot be reconciled. Therefore I've dubbed it the Anti-Liberal Catch-22.
I mean, which one is it then? Overly open minded idiots or closed-minded hypocrites?
Make up your minds, conservatives!
by Submitter of Words June 23, 2011
Bush sure made a good catch22 over there in Iraq.
by Senator Assface August 28, 2006

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