catch phrase

or catch·phrase


a phrase that attracts or is meant to attract attention.
a phrase, as a slogan, that comes to be widely and repeatedly used, often with little of the original meaning remaining.

Nearby words

  1. catch napping,
  2. catch off guard,
  3. catch on,
  4. catch one's breath,
  5. catch out,
  6. catch pit,
  7. catch points,
  8. catch red-handed,
  9. catch sight of,
  10. catch some rays

Origin of catch phrase

First recorded in 1840–50; catch(word) + phrase Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catchphrase

British Dictionary definitions for catchphrase

catch phrase


a well-known frequently used phrase, esp one associated with a particular group, etc
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

Word Origin and History for catchphrase



also catch-phrase, 1837, from catch (v.) + phrase (n.). The notion is of words that will "catch" in the mind (cf. catchword).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper