verb (used with object), caught, catch·ing.
verb (used without object), caught, catch·ing.
- to become popular: That new song is beginning to catch on.
- to grasp mentally; understand: You'd think he'd catch on that he's boring us.
- New England. (in cooking) to scorch or burn slightly; sear: A pot roast is better if allowed to catch on.
- to lift or snatch suddenly: Leaves were caught up in the wind.
- to bring or get up to date (often followed by on or with): to catch up on one's reading.
- to come up to or overtake (something or someone) (usually followed by with): to catch up with the leader in a race.
- to become involved or entangled with: caught up in the excitement of the crowd.
- to point out to (a person) minor errors, untruths, etc. (usually followed by on): We caught the teacher up on a number of factual details.
- Falconry. to capture for further training (a hawk that has been flown at hack).
- South Midland and Southern U.S. to harness (a horse or mule).
Origin of catch
Examples from the Web for catch
They all immediately dashed out to their car to catch the bad guys.
“The government just wanted to catch the big fish [in the Juarez cartel] and they ignored everything in between,” Lozoya said.
From a lyrical standpoint, there are precious few that can catch Kendrick.The 14 Best Songs of 2014: Bobby Shmurda, Future Islands, Drake, and More|Marlow Stern|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
With Rick, I think the culture just lags behind great artists much of the time, and it takes time for it to catch up.Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange|Marlow Stern|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In the last few years, the character has begun to catch on in America, even turning up on a recent episode of American Dad.
Freddie, dont try to catch any more fish, or anything like that.The Bobbsey Twins on the Deep Blue Sea|Laura Lee Hope
The ringmaster will half step forward to catch you before you faint.Michael, Brother of Jerry|Jack London
Go away, monsieur, you will not fail to catch the quarry you are pursuing.The Red and the Black|Stendhal
There was no authority in his eyes, not even when he told her not to catch cold.Cecilia|F. Marion Crawford
Both sides played this game of catch, but I think we were the better at it."Over There" with the Australians|R. Hugh Knyvett
British Dictionary definitions for catch
verb catches, catching or caught
- to grasp or attempt to grasp
- to take advantage (of), esp eagerlyhe caught at the chance
- a concealed, unexpected, or unforeseen drawback or handicap
- (as modifier)a catch question
Word Origin for catch
Word Origin and History for catch (1 of 2)
c.1200, "to take, capture," from Anglo-French or Old North French cachier "catch, capture" (animals) (Old French chacier "hunt, pursue, drive (animals)," Modern French chasser "to hunt;" making it a doublet of chase (v.)), from Vulgar Latin *captiare "try to seize, chase" (also source of Spanish cazar, Italian cacciare), from Latin captare "to take, hold," frequentative of Latin capere "to take, hold" (see capable).
Senses in early Middle English also included "chase, hunt," which later went with chase (v.). Of infections from 1540s; of fire from 1734; of sleep, etc., from early 14c. Related: Catched (obsolete); catching; caught.
Meaning "act as a catcher in baseball" recorded from 1865. To catch on "apprehend" is 1884, American English colloquial. To catch (someone's) eye is first attested 1813, in Jane Austen. Catch as catch can first attested late 14c.
Word Origin and History for catch (1 of 2)
late 14c., "device to hold a latch of a door," also "a trap;" also "a fishing vessel," from catch (v.). Meaning "action of catching" attested from 1570s. Meaning "that which is caught or worth catching" (later especially of spouses) is from 1590s. Sense of "hidden cost, qualification, etc." is slang first recorded 1855 in P.T. Barnum.
Idioms and Phrases with catch
In addition to the idioms beginning with catch
- catch as catch can
- catch at
- catch a Tartar
- catch cold
- catch fire
- catch in the act
- catch it
- catch napping
- catch off guard
- catch on
- catch one's breath
- catch one's death (of cold)
- catch red-handed
- catch sight of
- catch someone's eye
- catch some rays
- catch some z's
- catch the drift
- catch up
- early bird catches the worm
- get (catch) the drift
- takes one to know one (a thief to catch a thief)
Also see undercaught.