chicken and egg

chicken and egg

1. If something is a chicken and egg situation, it is impossible to decide which of two related things happened first and caused the other. The link between current global temperature and carbon-dioxide emissions is not a chicken and egg situation. Cause and effect are quite clear. It's a chicken-and-egg argument about which comes first: Do people create a neighborhood lifestyle? Or does a neighborhood environment influence how residents live?
2. If something is a chicken and egg problem, it is impossible to deal with a problem because the solution is also the cause of the problem. Until we get promotion, we won't get the top players. But until we get top players, we won't win promotion. It's a chicken and egg problem. Note: This expression comes from the unanswerable question, `Which came first, the chicken or the egg?'
See also: and, chicken, egg