a. To discover or come upon suddenly, unexpectedly, or accidentally: He was caught in the act of stealing.
b. To become cognizant or aware of suddenly: caught her gazing out the window.
a. To take hold of, especially forcibly or suddenly; grasp: caught me by the arm; caught the reins.
b. To grab so as to stop the motion of: catch a ball.
a. To overtake: The green car caught me on the straightaway.
b. To reach just in time; take: caught the bus to town; catch a wave.
a. To hold, as by snagging or entangling.
b. To cause to become suddenly or accidentally hooked, entangled, or fastened: caught my hem on the stair.
c. To hold up; delay: was caught in traffic for an hour.
7. To hit; strike: a punch that caught me in the stomach.
8. To check (oneself) during an action: I caught myself before replying.
9. To become subject to or to contract, as by exposure to a pathogen: catch a cold.
a. To become affected by or infused with: caught the joyous mood of the festival.
b. To suffer from the receipt of (criticism, for example): caught hell for being late.
a. To take or get suddenly, momentarily, or quickly: We caught a glimpse of the monarch.
b. To hear or listen to: caught the news bulletin on the radio; didnt catch the end of your sentence
a. To grasp mentally; apprehend: I dont catch your meaning.
b. To apprehend and reproduce accurately by or as if by artistic means: an impressionist who caught the effects of wind and water in his paintings.
13. To attract and fix; arrest: couldnt catch their attention; caught the teachers eye.
14. To charm; captivate.
15. To deceive: failed to be caught by their fraudulent schemes.
a. Informal To go to see (a performance, for example): caught the midnight show.
b. To get (something required), usually quickly or for a brief period: catch some sleep.
1. To become held, entangled, or fastened: My coat caught in the car door.
2. To act or move so as to hold or grab someone or something: tried to catch at the life preserver.
3. To be communicable or infectious; spread.
4. To ignite: The fire caught.
5. Baseball To act as catcher.
1. The act of catching; a taking and holding.
2. Something that catches, especially a device for fastening or for checking motion.
a. Something caught: The mistake you found was a good catch.
b. Informal One that is worth having, especially an attractive or admirable marital partner.
a. The grabbing and holding of a thrown, kicked, or batted ball before it hits the ground.
b. A game of throwing and catching a ball.
5. A quantity that is caught: The catch amounted to 50 fish.
6. A choking or stoppage of the breath or voice.
7. A stop or break in the operation of a mechanism.
8. A tricky or previously unsuspected condition or drawback: It sounds like a good offer, but there may be a catch.
9. A snatch; a fragment.
10. Music A canonic, often rhythmically intricate composition for three or more voices, popular especially in the 17th and 18th centuries.
1. To understand; perceive.
2. To become popular: Skateboarding caught on quickly.
To detect (another) in wrongdoing or error.
1. To move fast enough to attain the same progress as another; draw even: caught up to the leader on the last lap of the race.
2. To become equal or on a par with another: finally caught up with his brother in height.
3. To bring an activity to completion or to a state of currentness: catch up on correspondence.
4. To bring (another) up to date; brief: Let me catch you up on all the gossip.
5. To seize or lift suddenly: The wind caught up the umbrella and carried it off.
a. To involve, often unwillingly: was caught up in the scandal.
b. To captivate; enthrall: I was caught up in the mood of the evening.
1. To ignite.
2. To become very enthusiastic.
3. To become the subject of great interest and widespread enthusiasm: an idea that caught fire all over the country.
To receive a punishment or scolding.
catch (ones) breath
To rest so as to be able to continue an activity.
catch up with
1. To find or arrest after a period of pursuit: The police finally caught up with him in Omaha.
2. To have unpleasant consequences for, especially after a period of quiesence: mistakes that caught up with him when he ran for President.
catch you later
Informal Used to express good-bye.
[Middle English cacchen, from Old North French cachier, to chase, from Latin captre, frequentative of capere, to seize; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: catch, enmesh, ensnare, entangle, entrap, snare1, tangle1, trap1 These verbs mean to take in and hold as if by using bait or a lure: caught in a web of lies; enmeshed in the neighbors dispute; ensnared an unsuspecting customer; became entangled in her own contradictions; entrapped by a convincing undercover agent; snared by false hopes; tangled by his own duplicity; trapped into incriminating himself.
catch /kt/ n.catches1 an act of taking hold of s.t. in motion, (syns.) a grasp, snatch: One player threw the ball and the other made a good catch.2 a fastener: I opened the catch on the door.3 a hidden difficulty or unpleasant requirement: There is a catch in that contract where you have to pay all the money now, but wait six months for delivery of the product.4 s.t. that has been caught: The catch of the day is bluefish.5a good catch:a. s.o. who is very desirable to marry: He married a beautiful, rich woman; she was a good catch.b. the prevention of a mistake: She found and corrected a big mistake in an order before it was shipped; it was a good catch.6to play catch: to throw a ball back and forth between people: The children are playing catch in the playground.
Thesaurus: catch n. 2 hook, clasp, lock 3 a problem with s.t., drawback to. Ant. an advantage. v.caught kQtScatching, catches 1 [I;T] (syn.) to grab (s.t. in motion): Here, catch the ball! Here, grab the ball!2[I] (syns.) to overtake s.o., close the distance with s.o. else: A runner caught up with the others and passed them. A runner overtook the others. A runner closed the distance with the others. 3[T] (syns.) to come down with, get (a sickness): I catch a cold every winter. I come down with a cold every winter.4[T] (syn.) to get (somewhere on time): Hurry, we have a plane to catch! Hurry, we have a plane to get! 5[T] (syns.) to capture, seize: The police catch criminals every day. The police capture (or) seize criminals every day. 6[T] (syns.) to trap, capture: We caught a skunk by putting food in a cage. We trapped (or) captured a skunk. 7[T] (syns.) to snag, hook s.t.: I caught my sleeve on a door handle. I snagged (or) hooked my sleeve. 8[T] (syn.) to understand: Did you catch what he said? Did you understand what he said?9[I] (syns.) to close, latch: Did the lock catch? Did the lock close?10[T] (syns.) to discover, find: I caught a mistake in his report and corrected it. I discovered (or) found a mistake in his repoirt.11[T] (syns.) to reach, contact s.o., esp. suddenly: I caught her just as she was leaving the office. I reached her just as she was leaving the office. 12fig.not or never to catch s.o. (doing s.t.): to never see s.o. doing s.t. because one dislikes and avoids it: I hate carrots (TV, big cities, etc.); you wont catch me eating them (watching it, visiting there, etc.).13to catch hold: to grab s.t. suddenly: The boat rolled, but he caught hold of the rail.14to catch it (or) catch hell: to be punished: You are always late; you are going to catch it or catch hell from the boss!15 phrasal v. [I] to catch on:a. to understand, (syn.) to comprehend: She is a bright student; she catches on to new things quickly.b. to become popular: That new product (actor, film, etc.) has really caught on.16to catch ones breath:a. to begin to breathe normally: The runner stopped and caught her breath.b.fig. to rest: Ive been doing so many things that I havent had time to catch my breath.17to catch s.o. in the act: to capture s.o. as he or she commits a crime: The police caught the thief in the act of robbing the bank.18to catch s.o. off guard: to surprise s.o. when he or she is distracted or relaxed: The thief stole her pocketbook while she was looking in a store window; he caught her off guard.19to play catch-up: to try to complete late work or catch up to a competitor: He is out of the office so often that he has to play catch-up on his paperwork all the time.