catch

verb
\ ˈkach How to pronounce catch (audio) , ˈkech \
caught\ ˈkȯt How to pronounce catch (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 catch (audio) , ˈke-​ \ adjective
an easily catchable fly ball

Synonyms & Antonyms for catch

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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

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 Frazier scored in the third, making it 2-0, when catcher Elias Diaz attempted to catch him stealing third as Bryan Reynolds drew a walk. Wes Crosby, Star Tribune, 29 May 2021 Rendon ran a long way to catch it and Kemp tagged up, beating Rendon’s wide throw to second. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2021 The dog is on high alert to their antics and literally leaps in the air to try to catch them. Cori Brown, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 29 May 2021 To really catch him off guard, your decorations need something that pops — something like a life-size figure depicting him climbing a chain-link fence while celebrating his 2009 Indy 500 win. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, 29 May 2021 Billy Joel fans will have to wait another year to catch him live in Detroit. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 Bedford has targeted students at risk of failing, putting them in after-school programs to help catch them up. Alexis Oatman, cleveland, 24 May 2021 Catch the ball with your eyes first, and then catch it with your hands. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 21 May 2021 Jimmy and the other star then have to interrogate them about the statement, trying to catch them in a lie. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 21 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The only catch: One entity has collected three clubs. Justin Birnbaum, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Who leads the Giants’ low-probability catch competition? Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 June 2021 Can the vet catch cancer or other problems during these visits? Jennifer Nelson, Southern Living, 2 June 2021 The catch, as the name of the sales event suggests, is that all of the bargains offered as part of the Prime Day event are available only to people who subscribe to Amazon Prime. Maren Estrada, BGR, 2 June 2021 Cedric Mullins hustled over to right-center field and made a sliding, backhanded catch at the base of the wall. Noah Trister, ajc, 2 June 2021 Galveston Island is the ideal destination for the dad who loves to reel in a catch or two—or 10! Micolette Davis, Chron, 1 June 2021 And no one – not even the racing mogul whom Helio Castroneves won three previous 500s for – might have climbed the catch fence right alongside Spiderman himself. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 1 June 2021 The catch that held the cylinder in place opened, and all the cartridges fell out except one. Celia Storey, Arkansas Online, 31 May 2021

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for catch

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for catch

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Catch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catch. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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.

Choose the Right Synonym for catch

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.

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