catch

verb
\ ˈkach How to pronounce catch (audio) , ˈkech\
caught\ ˈkȯt How to pronounce caught (audio) also  ˈkät \; catching

Definition of catch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to capture or seize especially after pursuit catch a thief
b : to take or entangle in or as if in a snare catch fish in a net
c : deceive
d : to discover unexpectedly : find caught in the act
e : to check (oneself) suddenly or momentarily He started to say the wrong thing but quickly caught himself.
f : to become suddenly aware of caught me looking at him
2a : to take hold of : seize He caught her by the arm as she tripped.
b : to affect suddenly The announcement caught me by surprise.
c : to grasp and hold on to (something in motion) catch a fly ball
d : to avail oneself of : take caught the first opportunity to leave
e : to obtain through effort : get catch a ride
f : to overtake unexpectedly usually used in the passive was caught in a storm
g : to get entangled catch a sleeve on a nail
3 : to become affected by: such as
a : contract catch a cold
b : to respond sympathetically to the point of being imbued (see imbue sense 2) with catch the spirit of an occasion
c : to be struck by He caught a bullet in the leg.
d : to be subjected to : receive catch hell
4a : to take in and retain a barrel to catch rainwater
b : fasten catch back a curtain
5 : to take or get usually momentarily or quickly catch a glimpse of a friend catch a nap
6a : overtake catch the leader in a race
b : to get aboard in time catch the bus
7 : to attract and hold : arrest, engage caught their attention The glint of the gold in each case caught my eye, you see.— Arthur Conan Doyle
8 : to make contact with : strike The pitch caught him in the back.
9a : to grasp by the senses or the mind you catch what I mean? didn't catch the name
b : to apprehend and fix by artistic means The new portrait catches her likeness perfectly.
10a : see, watch catch a game on TV
b : to listen to caught the last part of the concert
11 : to serve as a catcher for in baseball caught both ends of the doubleheader
12 : to meet with catch you later

intransitive verb

1 : to grasp hastily or try to grasp
2 : to become caught The kite caught in the tree branches.
3 : to catch fire
4 : to play the position of catcher on a baseball team
5 : kick over the engine caught
catch a crab
: to fail to raise an oar clear of the water on recovery of a stroke
catch dead
: to find or see at any time used in strongly negative constructions wouldn't be caught dead in that shirt
catch fire
1 : to become ignited
2 : to become fired with enthusiasm
3 : to increase greatly in scope, popularity, interest, or effectiveness this stock has not caught fire—yetForbes
catch it
: to incur blame, reprimand, or punishment He'll really catch it from the boss if he's late again.
catch one's breath
: to rest long enough to restore normal breathing broadly : to rest after a period of intense activity

catch

noun

Definition of catch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something caught especially : the total quantity caught at one time a large catch of fish
2a : the act, action, or fact of catching The shortstop made a tough catch.
b : a game in which a ball is thrown and caught played catch with his dad
3 : something that checks or holds immovable a safety catch
4 : one worth catching especially as a spouse
5 : a round for three or more unaccompanied usually male voices often with suggestive or obscene lyrics
6 : fragment, snatch remembered only catches of the song
7 : a concealed difficulty or complication there must be a catch
8 : a momentary audible break in the voice or breath

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Other Words from catch

Verb

catchable \ ˈka-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce catchable (audio) , ˈke-​ \ adjective
an easily catchable fly ball

Synonyms & Antonyms for catch

Synonyms: Verb

bag, capture, collar, cop [slang], corral, get, glom, grab, grapple, hook, land, nab, nail, net, nobble [British slang], rap, seize, snag, snap (up), snare, snatch, trap

Synonyms: Noun

booby trap, catch-22, gimmick, gotcha, hitch, joker, land mine, pitfall, snag

Antonyms: Verb

miss

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Choose the Right Synonym for catch

Verb

catch, capture, trap, snare, entrap, ensnare, bag mean to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing. catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding. caught the dog as it ran by capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty. capture an enemy stronghold trap, snare, entrap, ensnare imply seizing by some device that holds the one caught at the mercy of the captor. trap and snare apply more commonly to physical seizing. trap animals snared butterflies with a net entrap and ensnare more often are figurative. entrapped the witness with a trick question a sting operation that ensnared burglars bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey. bagged a brace of pheasants

Verb

catch, capture, and trap mean to get possession or control of by or as if by seizing. catch is used for the act of trying to seize something or someone that is moving or hiding. Catch that dog! capture is used when there is a struggle or some other kind of difficulty. Police officers captured the robbers as they tried to flee. trap is used when there is use of a device that catches and holds the prey. He made a living by trapping animals.

Examples of catch in a Sentence

Verb

Catch the ball and throw it to first base. She caught the ball with one hand. I dropped the book but managed to catch it before it hit the ground. I'll throw you the keys. Ready? Catch! He caught hold of her wrist. The police are working hard to catch the criminals and put them in jail. “I bet you can't catch me!” she yelled to her brother. I once caught 10 fish in a single day. In the summer, we would catch fireflies and put them in jars. I caught her just as she was leaving for work.

Noun

The shortstop made a tough catch. She used to play catch with her dad. Let's play a game of catch. a catch of about 20 fish
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Once the pink carpet was over and guests made their way inside the Gala, our EIC, Michelle Lee caught this photo: Yes, that is a hamburger dress. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "Katy Perry Wore a Fully Functioning Chandelier to the 2019 Met Gala — and Yes, It Lights Up," 7 May 2019 But those who did catch the inaugural episode had a lot of opinions. Megan Stein, Country Living, "HGTV Sparks Mixed Reactions With New Polygamist Show, 'House Full of Spouses'," 5 May 2019 And who could forget when Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston were first caught dancing flirtatiously with each other, kindling the Hiddleswift phenomenon? Vogue, "The Craziest Celebrity Moments in Met Gala History," 29 Apr. 2019 The odorless chemical catches the wind and slowly spreads over the crowd. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "How We'll Stop Chemical Attacks," 28 Apr. 2019 Why this matters: The Razer Blade Pro 17 is catching the wave of next-gen hardware from major manufacturers. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer revamps the Blade Pro 17 with 9th-gen Intel Core and Nvidia RTX in a trimmer package," 23 Apr. 2019 As of today, donations to restore the iconic Paris cathedral, which caught fire on Monday and burned for several hours, have surpassed $1 billion. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Notre Dame's Rebuild Has Already Raised $1 Billion," 19 Apr. 2019 Chad See, executive director of the Freezer Longline Coalition, a trade association of vessels that target Pacific cod using baited lines, said members caught their quota last year but had to travel farther north. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Pace of Bering Sea changes startles scientists," 16 Apr. 2019 Which may be why Hevesh’s disappointment caught the attention of both creators and the community-at-large. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube faces backlash on Twitter over lifted, uncredited holiday video," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's just one catch: Chances are the faucet adapter that comes with it won't fit your sink. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "This Black + Decker Portable Washing Machine Might Be The Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me," 3 May 2019 The outlook at tight end is grim, as Geoff Swaim is the only returning option who had a catch last year after recording two for 2 yards. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Cowboys training camp questions: Who steps up at receiver for Dak Prescott?," 12 July 2018 The wage bump in 2010 came with a catch, Cintron said. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative," 10 July 2018 JT Riddle pinch hit for Yadiel Rivera and scorched a line drive to left field that Michael Conforto snared with a diving catch. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Future may look bright, but Marlins still dealing with offensive woes in the present," 1 July 2018 Well, there are a few catches this week that will make this review a little uncomfortable. refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 24 June 2018 Marist shortstop Easton Lotus, however, came up with a diving catch. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Vroom: Michigan recruit Lexi Voss drives in five runs as Marist routs Hinsdale South in sectional semifinals," 30 May 2018 Then Heston Kjerstad singled to bring in both runs, and the next play Jake Slaughter made a diving catch only to throw the ball in the dirt for an error. Brody Miller, NOLA.com, "LSU baseball beats No. 4 Arkansas, takes series win," 6 May 2018 These kinds of changes can bring on symptoms of altitude sickness, which is actually a catch-all term for three separate syndromes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Exactly Is Altitude Sickness?," 20 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of catch

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for catch

Verb

Middle English cacchen, from Anglo-French cacher, chacher, chacer to hunt, from Vulgar Latin *captiare, alteration of Latin captare to chase, frequentative of capere to take — more at heave

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Statistics for catch

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catch

The first known use of catch was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for catch

catch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of catch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your hands to stop and hold (an object that is moving through the air)
: to use your hands to grasp and hold onto (someone or something)
: to capture and not allow (a person, animal, or fish) to escape

catch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of catch (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hidden problem that makes something more complicated or difficult to do
: the act of stopping a moving object (such as a ball) and holding it in your hands : the act of catching something
: a game in which two or more people throw and catch a ball

catch

verb
\ ˈkach How to pronounce catch (audio) , ˈkech\
caught\ ˈkȯt \; catching

Kids Definition of catch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to capture and hold catch a ball catch fish
2 : to discover unexpectedly A policeman caught them breaking the window.
3 : to stop suddenly before doing something I caught myself before blurting out the secret.
4 : to take hold of As I was falling, Grandma caught my arm.
5 : to become affected by catch fire catch a cold
6 : to take or get briefly or quickly He caught a glimpse of the actor.
7 : to be in time for I'll catch the next bus.
8 : to grasp by the senses or the mind I didn't catch what you said.
9 : to play catcher on a baseball team
10 : to get tangled She caught her sleeve on a nail.
11 : to hold firmly : fasten The lock will not catch.
12 : to recover by resting I need to catch my breath.
catch on
1 : to realize something I finally caught on that he was teasing me.
2 : to become popular The new toy caught on quickly.
catch up
: to move or progress fast enough to join another

catch

noun

Kids Definition of catch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something caught : the amount caught at one time a large catch of fish
2 : the act of catching The shortstop made a great catch.
3 : a pastime in which a ball is thrown and caught
4 : something that checks, fastens, or holds immovable a catch on a door
5 : a hidden difficulty Dad got a raise, but there's a catch. He needs more training.

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More from Merriam-Webster on catch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catch

Spanish Central: Translation of catch

Nglish: Translation of catch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of catch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about catch

Comments on catch

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