Definition of chicken-and-egg in English:



  • [attributive] Denoting a situation in which each of two things appears to be necessary to the other, making it impossible to say which came first.

    • ‘However, scientists have yet to tease an answer from the chicken-and-egg dilemma of which came first, cooperation or a sense of fairness?’
    • ‘And looking at the set and the staging and trying to decipher which came first is indeed something of a chicken-and-egg proposition.’
    • ‘It then becomes a chicken-and-egg situation - without experience, they cannot find work and without work, they cannot gain experience.’
    • ‘And we have seen this chicken-and-egg dilemma before.’
    • ‘It may be a chicken-and-egg question, but what is the link between the corporation and the corporate psychopath?’
    • ‘‘It was a real chicken-and-egg scenario,’ he says.’
    • ‘But this is a chicken-and-egg matter: It's relentless, round-the-clock competition that assumes the reader or viewer can't sit still.’
    • ‘Well exactly, that's such a chicken-and-egg thing.’
    • ‘Of course, this raises various chicken-and-egg questions.’
    • ‘We have here the classic chicken-and-egg situation.’
    • ‘I went though several more of these chicken-and-egg conversations before getting the reassurance I craved.’
    • ‘But in this never-ending chicken-and-egg conundrum, time is on our side.’
    • ‘This is a chicken-and-egg conundrum: do people do boring things because they are boring or are they boring because they do boring things?’
    • ‘The second focus is upon the seemingly chicken-and-egg relationship between society and rights.’
    • ‘But this is a sort of chicken-and-egg argument.’
    • ‘This, of course, is a chicken-and-egg situation.’
    • ‘Washington has solved the age-old chicken-and-egg riddle - as it applies to fuel cell technology and an infrastructure for hydrogen delivery.’
    • ‘But measuring up to managed care companies' requirements can be a chicken-and-egg proposition, in that a site has to be established and well known.’
    • ‘In some ways, it's a chicken-and-egg scenario: which comes first, the network or the services?’
    • ‘Experts say this chicken-and-egg mystery is one that will be with us for many years.’