1)A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions.

2) A contradictory or self-defeating course of action.

3) Novel by Joseph Heller.
"You're wasting your time," Doc Daneeka was forced to tell him.
"Can't you ground someone's who's crazy?"

"Oh sure, I have to. There's a rule saying I have to ground anyone who's crazy."

"Then why don't you ground me. Ask Clevinger."

"Clevinger? Where is Clevinger? You find Clevinger and I'll ask him."

"Then ask any of the others. They'll tell you how crazy I am."

"They're crazy."

"Then why don't you ground them?"

"Why don't they ask me to ground them?"

"Because they're crazy, that's why."

"Of course they're crazy," Doc Daneeka replied. "I just told you they're crazy didn't I? And you can't let crazy people decide whether you're crazy or not can you?"

Yossarian looked at him soberly and tried another approach. "Is Orr crazy?"
"He sure is," Doc Daneeka said.

"Can you ground him?"

"I sure can but first he has to ask me to. That's part of the rule."

"Then why doesn't he ask you to?"

"Because he's crazy," Doc Daneeka said. "He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he's had. Sure I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to."

"That's all he has to do to be grounded?"

"That's all. Let him ask me."

"And then you can ground him?" Yossarian asked.

"No, then I can't ground him."

"You mean there's a catch?"

"Sure there is a catch," Doc Daneeka replied. "Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn't really crazy."

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, that specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of the clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka replied.
by zopwx2 June 21, 2004
A no-win dilemma or paradox, similar to damned if I do, damned if I don't.
A situation or predicament characterized by absurdity or senselessness.
by you think? March 19, 2005
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
NO LICENSE===NO CAR===NO MONEY===YOU DON'T PAY FINES====YOU DON'T GET YOUR LICENSE BACK====NO LICENSE====NO MONEY=======...............and it goes on and on and on.

in New Jersey, DUI laws are like catch 22. They suspend your license after DUI and you have to pay around $4000 in fine. " Without license it's hard to make money, go to job, go to school. If you don't make money, how you gonna pay those big fines? So it's like this-----NO LICENSE===NO CAR===NO MONEY===YOU DON'T PAY FINES====YOU DON'T GET YOUR LICENSE BACK====NO LICENSE====NO MONEY=======...............and it goes on and on and on.


And New Jersey state doesn't allow Limited driving license for work or school after DUI.
by friend of a victim. March 24, 2010
A woman who is so ugly that in order to bang her you need to drink so much booze that you can no longer get it up.
That chick who works on the next floor up is a real catch 22.
by Richard F Slapp November 28, 2007
Basically a dilemma. Something that happens which you can't escape from, so basically you are probably gonna be in trouble anyway.
A roundabout- never ending.

"I'm in a catch 22, they're gonna find out sooner or later and i'm gonna be in trouble anyway"
by gdlun April 16, 2006