\ˈkȯt also ˈkät\;
: to capture or seize especially after pursuit
: to take or entangle in or as if in a snare
: to discover unexpectedly : find
: to check (oneself) suddenly or momentarily
- He started to say the wrong thing but quickly caught himself.
: to become suddenly aware of
: to take hold of : seize
- He caught her by the arm as she tripped.
: to affect suddenly
- The announcement caught me by surprise.
: to grasp and hold on to (something in motion)
: to avail oneself of : take
- caught the first opportunity to leave
: to obtain through effort : get
: to overtake unexpectedly
—usually used in the passive
: to become affected by: such as
: to respond sympathetically to the point of being imbued (see imbue 1) with
- catch the spirit of an occasion
: to be struck by
- He caught a bullet in the leg.
: to take in and retain
- a barrel to catch rainwater
: to take or get usually momentarily or quickly
- catch a glimpse of a friend
- catch the leader in a race
: to get aboard in time
: to make contact with : strike
- The pitch caught him in the back.
: to grasp by the senses or the mind
: to apprehend and fix by artistic means
- The new portrait catches her likeness perfectly.
: to listen to
- caught the last part of the concert
: to serve as a catcher for in baseball
- caught both ends of the doubleheader
: to grasp hastily or try to grasp
: to become caught
- The kite caught in the tree branches.
: to play the position of catcher on a baseball team
an easily catchable fly ball
catch a crab
: to fail to raise an oar clear of the water on recovery of a stroke
: to find or see at any time
—used in strongly negative constructions
- wouldn't be caught dead in that shirt
: to become fired with enthusiasm
: to increase greatly in scope, popularity, interest, or effectiveness
- this stock has not caught fire—yet
: 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;
: to rest after a period of intense activity