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
Synonyms for catch
Antonyms for catch
Examples from the Web for caught
Contemporary Examples of caught
A street sweeper was caught in the crossfire as a gunman fired at the officer, fatally wounding her in the back.France Mourns—and Hunts
Nico Hines, Christopher Dickey
January 8, 2015
If she got caught with a shank, they would up her custody level.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’
January 6, 2015
A dozen Revolutionary Guards were caught deep inside Pakistan, tracking Rigi.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
Best Buy is caught up in the breakneck world of technological innovation.Best Buy Punches Back at Amazon
December 27, 2014
At his year-end, pre-Hawaii press conference, we caught a rare glimpse of peak Obama.The Liberation of the Lame Duck: Obama Goes Full Bulworth
December 19, 2014
Historical Examples of caught
He must 'a' got caught in an explosion of freckles sometime.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Stephen caught the bridle, and Ambrose helped the burgess into the saddle.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
He caught but two fish, and they were so small that he decided not to offer them for sale.
It was rather a heavy tug, for the fish he had caught weighed at least fifty pounds.
She was smiling now, and he caught a gleam of mischief in her eyes.Viviette
William J. Locke
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
past tense and past participle of catch (v.), attested from 14c., predominant after c.1800, replacing earlier catched. A rare instance of English strong verb with a French origin. This might have been by influence of Middle English lacchen (see latch (v.)), which also then meant "to catch" and was a synonym of catch (as their noun forms remain), and which then had past tense forms lahte, lauhte, laught. The influence happened before latch switched to its modern weak conjugation.
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.
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with caught
- caught dead, wouldn't be
- caught flat-footed
- caught in the middle
- caught short
- caught with one's pants down, be
, also see under
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.