Catch-22

Catch-22 from the title of Joseph Heller's 1961 novel. In widespread use only after release of movie based on the book in 1970. The "catch" is that a bomber pilot is insane if he flies combat missions without asking to be relieved from duty, and is thus eligible to be relieved from duty. But if he asks to be relieved from duty, that means he's sane and has to keep flying.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's 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. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this 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 agreed.
See CATCH (Cf. catch) (n.).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • catch — [ katʃ ] n. m. • 1919; mot angl., abrév. de catch as catch can « attrape comme tu peux » ♦ Lutte très libre à l origine, codifiée aujourd hui. Prise de catch. Match, rencontre de catch, spectacle de cette lutte. Catch à quatre. Catch féminin. ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Catch — Catch, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Caught}or {Catched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Catching}. Catched is rarely used.] [OE. cacchen, OF. cachier, dialectic form of chacier to hunt, F. chasser, fr. (assumend) LL. captiare, for L. capture, V. intens. of capere to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • catch — [kach, kech] vt. caught, catching [ME cacchen < Anglo Fr cachier < VL * captiare < L captare, to seize < pp. of capere, to take hold: see HAVE] 1. to seize and hold, as after a chase; capture 2. to seize or take by or as by a trap,… …   English World dictionary

  • Catch 5 — is a popular news music package and image campaign developed for Cleveland, Ohio television station WEWS TV in 1970. Written and composed by then jingle writer Frank Gari, the package was subsequently used on a few other American TV stations. The …   Wikipedia

  • catch — [kætʆ] verb caught PTandPP [kɔːt ǁ kɒːt] [transitive] 1. be caught in something to be in a situation that is difficult to escape from: • The government is caught in the middle of the dispute. • The yen was caught in a downward spiral. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • catch — ► VERB (past and past part. caught) 1) intercept and hold (something thrown, propelled, or dropped). 2) seize or take hold of. 3) capture after a chase or in a trap, net, etc. 4) be in time to board (a train, bus, etc.) or to see (a person,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Catch-22 — ist der Titel des 1961 erschienenen ersten Romans von Joseph Heller über die Absurdität des Krieges und die Dummheit der Militär Maschinerie. Das anfangs wenig erfolgreiche Buch wurde erst durch Mundpropaganda und Weitergabe und Empfehlung des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Catch — or caught may refer to:In sports: * Catch (baseball), a maneuver in baseball * Caught (cricket), a method of getting out in cricket * Catch or Reception (American football)In music: * Catch (music), a form of round * Catch (band), an English band …   Wikipedia

  • catch — catch; catch·er; catch·ing; catch·man; catch·ment; catch·pole; see·catch; un·catch·able; catch·ing·ly; catch·poll; …   English syllables

  • Catch — Catch, n. 1. Act of seizing; a grasp. Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster] 2. That by which anything is caught or temporarily fastened; as, the catch of a gate. [1913 Webster] 3. The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to lay hold of, or of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • catch — s.n. Gen de lupte libere în care sunt permise aproape orice mijloace pentru înfrângerea adversarului. [pr.: checi. – var.: catch can (pr.: checi chén) s.n.] cuv. engl. Trimis de valeriu, 03.03.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  CATCH [pr …   Dicționar Român

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