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catch-as-catch-can

[kach-uh z-kach-kan]
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adjective
  1. 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.
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adverb
  1. without specific plan or order: They lived catch-as-catch-can.
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noun
  1. a style of wrestling in which the contestants are permitted to trip, tackle, and use holds below the waist.Compare Greco-Roman(def 3).
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Origin of catch-as-catch-can

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for catch as catch can

catch-as-catch-can

noun
  1. a style of wrestling in which trips, holds below the waist, etc, are allowed
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adjective, adverb
  1. mainly US and Canadian using any method or opportunity that comes to hand
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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

catch as catch can in Culture

catch-as-catch-can

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.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.