Definitions

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

  • interjection Used to indicate understanding or to signal the fact of having caught or defeated another.
  • noun A game or endeavor in which one party seeks to catch another out, as in a mistake or lie.

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

  • phrase colloquial Got you; have you; as in capture or apprehend.
  • phrase colloquial Understand; comprehend.
  • phrase colloquial Got you covered, got your back; when you have an advantage or responsibility over someone.
  • phrase colloquial Got you back; as in after causing some form of retaliation or revenge against someone.
  • phrase colloquial Got you by surprise; Exclamation indicating a successful trick or prank.
  • phrase colloquial Got you by surprise; as in engineering or computer programming; typically an unintended consequence or problem caused by a small variation in areas such as command syntax, function definition, results application.
  • noun colloquial A potential problem or source of trouble.

Etymologies

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

[Contraction of got you.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Written form of a reduction of got you. got +‎ -cha

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Direct acquisition of gotcha, the contraction of got you.

Examples

  • Besides, the term "gotcha question" is so out of fashion.

    Joan E. Dowlin: The Scariest Thing About the Sept. 12 GOP Debate Was the Audience

  • The Governor attacks what she calls gotcha journalism in her latest sit - down interview, a new interview.

    CNN Transcript Sep 29, 2008

  • Some people are criticizing last night's presidential debate, including Barack Obama, who likened it to what he calls gotcha games.

    CNN Transcript Apr 17, 2008

  • The governor supporters say that's partly because she's been a victim of what they call gotcha journalism, and they say working class voters are firmly behind her regardless.

    CNN Transcript Oct 2, 2008

  • I think that part of what we call gotcha journalism today -- the idea that the function of a reporter is to catch an official in a lie, in a some kind of minor misfeasance -- is partly the result of Watergate.

    CNN Transcript Jul 23, 2001

  • Newt Gingrich, whose candidacy has floundered, argued repeatedly with the debate panel over what he described as "gotcha" questions when his internal campaign problems and contradictory statements came up.

    News - latimes.com

  • Newt Gingrich, whose candidacy has floundered, argued repeatedly with the debate panel over what he described as "gotcha" questions when his internal campaign problems and contradictory statements came up.

    News - latimes.com

  • Your use of the word "gotcha" in mock irony suggests that bringing this up is a mere debating trick.

    The Guardian World News

  • Newt Gingrich, whose candidacy has floundered, argued repeatedly with the debate panel over what he described as "gotcha" questions when his internal campaign problems and contradictory statements came up.

    News - latimes.com

  • The possible gotcha is that your phone might be "Locked" to AT&T.

    Cell Phones

Comments

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