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catch phrase

or catch·phrase

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

First recorded in 1840–50; catch(word) + phrase
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catchphrase

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And when a man wants to talk like that "how-do-you-do" is as good a catchphrase as the next to keep his tongue discreet.


British Dictionary definitions for catchphrase

catch phrase

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

Word Origin and History for catchphrase

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper