Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To capture or seize, especially after a chase.
  • transitive v. To take by or as if by trapping or snaring.
  • transitive v. To discover or come upon suddenly, unexpectedly, or accidentally: He was caught in the act of stealing.
  • transitive v. To become cognizant or aware of suddenly: caught her gazing out the window.
  • transitive v. To take hold of, especially forcibly or suddenly; grasp: caught me by the arm; caught the reins.
  • transitive v. To grab so as to stop the motion of: catch a ball.
  • transitive v. To overtake: The green car caught me on the straightaway.
  • transitive v. To reach just in time; take: caught the bus to town; catch a wave.
  • transitive v. To hold, as by snagging or entangling.
  • transitive v. To cause to become suddenly or accidentally hooked, entangled, or fastened: caught my hem on the stair.
  • transitive v. To hold up; delay: was caught in traffic for an hour.
  • transitive v. To hit; strike: a punch that caught me in the stomach.
  • transitive v. To check (oneself) during an action: I caught myself before replying.
  • transitive v. To become subject to or to contract, as by exposure to a pathogen: catch a cold.
  • transitive v. To become affected by or infused with: caught the joyous mood of the festival.
  • transitive v. To suffer from the receipt of (criticism, for example): caught hell for being late.
  • transitive v. To take or get suddenly, momentarily, or quickly: We caught a glimpse of the monarch.
  • transitive v. To hear or listen to: caught the news bulletin on the radio; didn't catch the end of your sentence
  • transitive v. To grasp mentally; apprehend: I don't catch your meaning.
  • transitive v. 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.
  • transitive v. To attract and fix; arrest: couldn't catch their attention; caught the teacher's eye.
  • transitive v. To charm; captivate.
  • transitive v. To deceive: failed to be caught by their fraudulent schemes.
  • transitive v. Informal To go to see (a performance, for example): caught the midnight show.
  • transitive v. To get (something required), usually quickly or for a brief period: catch some sleep.
  • intransitive v. To become held, entangled, or fastened: My coat caught in the car door.
  • intransitive v. To act or move so as to hold or grab someone or something: tried to catch at the life preserver.
  • intransitive v. To be communicable or infectious; spread.
  • intransitive v. To ignite: The fire caught.
  • intransitive v. Baseball To act as catcher.
  • n. The act of catching; a taking and holding.
  • n. Something that catches, especially a device for fastening or for checking motion.
  • n. Something caught: The mistake you found was a good catch.
  • n. Informal One that is worth having, especially an attractive or admirable marital partner.
  • n. Sports The grabbing and holding of a thrown, kicked, or batted ball before it hits the ground.
  • n. Sports A game of throwing and catching a ball.
  • n. A quantity that is caught: The catch amounted to 50 fish.
  • n. A choking or stoppage of the breath or voice.
  • n. A stop or break in the operation of a mechanism.
  • n. A tricky or previously unsuspected condition or drawback: It sounds like a good offer, but there may be a catch.
  • n. A snatch; a fragment.
  • n. Music A canonic, often rhythmically intricate composition for three or more voices, popular especially in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • catch on To understand; perceive.
  • catch on To become popular: Skateboarding caught on quickly.
  • catch out To detect (another) in wrongdoing or error.
  • catch up 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.
  • catch up To become equal or on a par with another: finally caught up with his brother in height.
  • catch up To bring an activity to completion or to a state of currentness: catch up on correspondence.
  • catch up To bring (another) up to date; brief: Let me catch you up on all the gossip.
  • catch up To seize or lift suddenly: The wind caught up the umbrella and carried it off.
  • catch up To involve, often unwillingly: was caught up in the scandal.
  • catch up To captivate; enthrall: I was caught up in the mood of the evening.
  • idiom catch fire To ignite.
  • idiom catch fire To become very enthusiastic.
  • idiom catch fire To become the subject of great interest and widespread enthusiasm: an idea that caught fire all over the country.
  • idiom catch it Informal To receive a punishment or scolding.
  • idiom catch (one's) breath To rest so as to be able to continue an activity.
  • idiom catch up with To find or arrest after a period of pursuit: The police finally caught up with him in Omaha.
  • idiom catch up with To have unpleasant consequences for, especially after a period of quiesence: mistakes that caught up with him when he ran for President.
  • idiom catch you later Informal Used to express good-bye.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of seizing or capturing. syn.
  • n. The act of catching an object in motion, especially a ball. syn. transl.
  • n. The act of noticing, understanding or hearing. syn. transl.
  • n. The game of catching a ball. transl.
  • n. A find, in particular a boyfriend or girlfriend or prospective spouse. syn. transl.
  • n. Something which is captured or caught. transl.
  • n. The amount which is caught, especially of fish. syn.
  • n. A stopping mechanism, especially a clasp which stops something from opening. syn. transl.
  • n. A hesitation in voice, caused by strong emotion.
  • n. A concealed difficulty, especially in a deal or negotiation. syn. transl.
  • n. A crick; a sudden muscle pain during unaccustomed positioning when the muscle is in use.
  • n. A fragment of music or poetry. syn.
  • n. A state of readiness to capture or seize; an ambush.
  • n. A crop which has germinated and begun to grow.
  • n. A type of strong boat, usually having two masts; a ketch.
  • n. A type of humorous round in which the voices gradually catch up with one another; usually sung by men and often having bawdy lyrics.
  • n. The refrain; a line or lines of a song which are repeated from verse to verse. syn.
  • n. The act of catching a hit ball before it reaches the ground, resulting in an out.
  • n. A player in respect of his catching ability; particularly one who catches well.
  • n. The first contact of an oar with the water.
  • n. A stoppage of breath, resembling a slight cough.
  • v. To capture, overtake.
  • v. To seize hold of.
  • v. To intercept.
  • v. To receive (by being in the way).
  • v. To take in with one's senses or intellect.
  • v. To seize attention, interest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Act of seizing; a grasp.
  • n. That by which anything is caught or temporarily fastened.
  • n. The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to lay hold of, or of watching he opportunity to seize.
  • n. That which is caught or taken; profit; gain; especially, the whole quantity caught or taken at one time.
  • n. Something desirable to be caught, esp. a husband or wife in matrimony.
  • n. Passing opportunities seized; snatches.
  • n. A slight remembrance; a trace.
  • n. A humorous canon or round, so contrived that the singers catch up each other's words.
  • intransitive v. To attain possession.
  • intransitive v. To be held or impeded by entanglement or a light obstruction.
  • intransitive v. To take hold.
  • intransitive v. To spread by, or as by, infecting; to communicate.
  • transitive v. To lay hold on; to seize, especially with the hand; to grasp (anything) in motion, with the effect of holding.
  • transitive v. To seize after pursuing; to arrest.
  • transitive v. To take captive, as in a snare or net, or on a hook.
  • transitive v. Hence: To insnare; to entangle.
  • transitive v. To seize with the senses or the mind; to apprehend.
  • transitive v. To communicate to; to fasten upon.
  • transitive v. To engage and attach; to please; to charm.
  • transitive v. To get possession of; to attain.
  • transitive v. To take or receive; esp. to take by sympathy, contagion, infection, or exposure.
  • transitive v. To come upon unexpectedly or by surprise; to find.
  • transitive v. To reach in time; to come up with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To chase; drive; hunt.
  • To approach; go to seek speech with.
  • To reach; arrive at.
  • To reach in pursuit or by special effort, as a moving object or one about to move; come up to: as, I caught my friend on the road, or just starting; to catch the train.
  • To lay hold of; grasp; seize; take: as, to catch a sword by the handle.
  • Specifically To intercept and seize (something approaching or passing, especially in the air): as, to catch a ball.
  • To take captive, as in a snare or trap; take with a lure or bait; insnare; entrap: as, to catch mice or birds; to catcl fish: often used figuratively in this sense.
  • To seize after pursuit or search; apprehend; arrest: as, to catch a thief or a runaway horse.
  • To get; obtain; gain possession of; acquire.
  • To seize upon by attraction or impression; take and fix the attention of; hence, to gain influence over; captivate.
  • To seize or apprehend by the senses or the intellect: as, to catch sight of something.
  • To get; receive.
  • To be affected or influenced by; become affected by or infected with; take: as, to catch cold or the measles; to catch fire.
  • To entangle with or entrap in: as, she caught the fringe of her shawl on the door-knob.
  • To seize upon or attack; fasten upon; become communicated to: as, the fire caught the adjoining buildings.
  • To come on suddenly, unexpectedly, or accidentally: as, they were caught in the act.
  • To lift or raise to a higher elevation.
  • To take hold with the hand or hands; grasp. Specifically
  • To act as catcher in the game of base-ball.
  • To acquire possession.
  • To be entangled or impeded; become fixed; remain fast: as, his clothes caught in the briers; the lock catches.
  • To take proper hold so as to act: as, the bolt does not catch.
  • To be communicable or infectious; spread by or as if by infection.
  • To endeavor to lay hold of; be eager to get, use, or adopt: with at.
  • In agriculture, to germinate and grow, as a crop: as, the wheat will catch if the seed and season are good and the land well prepared.
  • n. The act of catching or seizing; seizure.
  • n. Specifically In base-ball and similar games, the catching and holding of a batted or thrown ball before it touches the ground.
  • n. Anything that seizes or takes hold, that checks motion or the like, as a hook, a ratchet, a pawl, a spring-bolt for a door or lid, or any other contrivance employed in machinery for the purpose of stopping or checking certain movements.
  • n. A choking or stoppage of the breath.
  • n. The posture of seizing; a state of preparation to catch, or of watching an opportunity to seize.
  • n. Anything caught; especially, a prize or booty; something valuable or desirable obtained or to be obtained; a gain or an advantage; often, colloquially, one desirable as a husband or wife on account of wealth or position.
  • n. Specifically In fishing, the quantity of fish taken: as, the catch on the Banks during the season.
  • n. A snatch; a short interval of action.
  • n. A hold; a grasp; a grip.
  • n. A slight or partial recollection.
  • n. A trick; something by which one may be entrapped.
  • n. In music, originally, an unaccompanied round for three or more voices, written as a continuous melody, not in score.
  • n. An obsolete form of ketch.
  • n. In agriculture, the extent or condition of the germination of a crop: as, a good catch of clover; if a good catch continues to thrive it will result in a good stand.
  • n. In lock-making, a small lock-case containing a sliding bolt but having no key. The beveled- or latch-bolt is kept in an extended position by a spring or by gravity, and is controlled by a knob which slides in a slot in the case.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. catch up with and possibly overtake
  • n. a restraint that checks the motion of something
  • v. hear, usually without the knowledge of the speakers
  • v. reach in time
  • v. detect a blunder or misstep
  • v. succeed in catching or seizing, especially after a chase
  • v. start burning
  • v. reach with a blow or hit in a particular spot
  • v. take in and retain
  • v. be struck or affected by
  • n. a drawback or difficulty that is not readily evident
  • v. become aware of
  • v. contract
  • v. perceive by hearing
  • v. to hook or entangle
  • v. get or regain something necessary, usually quickly or briefly
  • n. the act of apprehending (especially apprehending a criminal)
  • v. apprehend and reproduce accurately
  • v. cause to become accidentally or suddenly caught, ensnared, or entangled
  • v. attract and fix
  • v. be the catcher
  • n. the quantity that was caught
  • v. discover or come upon accidentally, suddenly, or unexpectedly; catch somebody doing something or in a certain state
  • v. capture as if by hunting, snaring, or trapping
  • n. a person regarded as a good matrimonial prospect
  • n. a fastener that fastens or locks a door or window
  • v. check oneself during an action
  • v. take hold of so as to seize or restrain or stop the motion of
  • v. see or watch
  • n. the act of catching an object with the hands
  • v. delay or hold up; prevent from proceeding on schedule or as planned
  • v. spread or be communicated
  • n. anything that is caught (especially if it is worth catching)
  • n. a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth
  • n. a break or check in the voice (usually a sign of strong emotion)
  • v. suffer from the receipt of
  • v. perceive with the senses quickly, suddenly, or momentarily
  • v. attract; cause to be enamored
  • v. grasp with the mind or develop an understanding of

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English cacchen, from Old North French cachier, to chase, from Latin captāre, frequentative of capere, to seize; see kap- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cacchen, from Anglo-Norman cachier, from Old Northern French, from Late Latin captiare, from Latin captare. Akin to Modern French chasser (from Old French chacier, whence English chase), Spanish cazar.

Examples

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  • November 10, 2007