Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

catch-22 situation

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun [countable] British English pronunciation: catch-22 situation /ˌkætʃ twentiˈtuː ˌsɪtʃueɪʃ(ə)n/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularcatch-22 situation
pluralcatch-22 situations
 
Word story
From the title of a novel by the US writer Joseph Heller, first published in 1962. The novel is about a group of people in the US air force who find themselves in a number of funny situations caused by silly military rules.
 

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

skanky

very unpleasant or dirty

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog