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[kach-uh z-kach-kan] /ˈkætʃ əzˈkætʃˈkæn/
Also, catch-can. taking advantage of any opportunity; using any method that can be applied:
a catch-as-catch-can life, as an itinerant handyman.
without specific plan or order:
They lived catch-as-catch-can.
a style of wrestling in which the contestants are permitted to trip, tackle, and use holds below the waist.
Compare Greco-Roman (def 3).
Origin of catch-as-catch-can
First recorded in 1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for catch as catch can


a style of wrestling in which trips, holds below the waist, etc, are allowed
adjective, adverb
(mainly US & Canadian) using any method or opportunity that comes to hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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catch as catch can in Culture

catch-as-catch-can definition

A phrase that describes a situation in which people must improvise or do what they can with limited means: “We don't have enough textbooks for all of the students, so it'll be catch-as-catch-can.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for catch as catch can



Precarious; requiring keen readiness: We lived a catch-as-catch-can life those first few years (1880s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with catch as catch can

catch as catch can

By whatever means or in any way possible, as in There was no formal language program; one simply learned Spanish catch as catch can. This term, in slightly varying versions but with the same meaning, dates from the late 1300s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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