from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that catches, especially the baseball player positioned behind home plate who signals for and receives pitches.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A chaser; a hunter.
  • noun One who catches; that which catches, or in which anything is caught.
  • noun Specifically— In base-ball and similar games, the player who stands behind the bat or home-base to catch the ball when pitched. See base-ball. In mining: An arrangement to prevent overwinding, or raising the cage too high as it comes out of the shaft. Also, in Leicestershire, England, the equivalent of cage-shuts (which see). In general, any arrangement at the mouth of the shaft, or on the pump, by means of which accidents may be prevented in case a part of the machinery gives way. plural In ornithology, the raptorial birds, or birds of prey: a term translating Captantes, one of the names of the order.
  • noun One who sings catches.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, catches.
  • noun (Baseball) The player who stands behind the batsman to catch the ball.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Someone or something that catches.
  • noun baseball The player that squats behind home plate and receives the pitches from the pitcher
  • noun (colloquial) The submissive partner in a homosexual relationship or sexual encounter between two men.

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

  • noun the position on a baseball team of the player who is stationed behind home plate and who catches the balls that the pitcher throws
  • noun (baseball) the person who plays the position of catcher


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  • In Nazi Germany:<blockquote>An even more sinister enemy for the Jewish fugitives than the loyal Germans were the turncoats in the midst, fellow Jews embarked on a tragic enterprise. "Catchers" they were called—men and women either without conviction even in normal times or normally moral persons frightened out of their wits by the threat of deportation. They worked directly for the Gestapo, operating out of a so-called "Jewish Bureau of Investigation" located on the Iranische Strasse. Their pay was their freedom; as long as they could find and present "illegal" Jews to the Gestapo for deportation, they could avoid deportation themselves.

    The catchers would walk through the city each day without their stars, on the lookout for underground Jews. If their prey was an old acquaintanjce, they would feign joy at seeing him or her and confide that they too were "illegals." If the prey was simply someone they suspected of being Jewish, they would confide their "secret" in the hope of eliciting a similar confession. Once they had their information, they would make a discreet telephone call, and the Gestapo would soon show up.</blockquote>Leonard Gross, The Last Jews in Berlin (1992)

    Some friends you've got." Bernie took out a cigarette. "She was a greifer. You know greifer?"

    "Grabber. Catcher. Of what?"


    "That's impossible. She was—"

    "A Jew. I know. A Jew to catch Jews. They thought of everything. Even that."

    . . .
    "How it worked? Some covered the railway stations. Renate liked the cafés. . . . Sometimes a Jew you actually knew, from the old days. Sometimes someone you just suspected, so some talk, a little fishing, a hint you were a U-boat yourself. Then snap. A vist to the ladies' room for the telephone. They usually took them on the street, so it wouldn't cause a disturbance in the café.
    Joseph Kanon, The Good German (2001).

    January 28, 2016