a chicken-and-egg situation

a chicken and egg situation

cliché A situation in which it is difficult or impossible to tell which of two things comes (or should come) first, as each one seems to cause the other to occur. A reference to the ancient paradox, "Which came first: the chicken or the egg?" A chicken is required to lay an egg, but that chicken must have hatched from an egg to begin with. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. It's a chicken and egg situation. It is a chicken-and-egg situation for many would-be sellers—you need inventory in order to start making money, but you need money to start accumulating inventory. Did the company falter because our biggest clients left, or did our clients leave because they could sense instability within our company? For the time being it's something of a chicken and egg situation.
See also: and, chicken, egg, situation
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a ˌchicken-and-ˈegg situation

a situation in which you do not know which of two connected events is the cause of the other: Is she unhappy because she gets into debt, or does she get into debt because she’s unhappy? I suppose it’s a chicken-and-egg situation.This comes from the question ‘Which came first — the chicken or the egg?’.
See also: situation
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Ironically, this is a chicken-and-egg situation. Which comes first: the infrastructure or the enabling technology?
"It's a chicken-and-egg situation," Philander says.