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

At least 14 sailors died Monday after a Russian navy deep-sea submersible caught fire under water during a research mission, officials said. Fox News, "At least 14 sailors dead after Russian sub catches fire during research mission: officials," 3 July 2019 But economic opportunity seems to have been the spark that enabled a long-running cultural change to catch fire. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Minority Women Are Winning the Jobs Race in a Record Economic Expansion," 1 July 2019 The 200,000-barrel-a-day Girard Point plant caught fire early Friday morning. Dan Molinski, WSJ, "Philadelphia Refinery, Largest on East Coast, Closing Its Doors," 26 June 2019 KeAndre Colenburg was just 2 years old when his family's home caught fire in 2003. Elise Hammond And Brian Ries, CNN, "A community is honoring a fallen police officer's career with this one, touching photo," 25 June 2019 Avoid areas of dry grass, dry brush or where flammable items may catch fire. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "How to stay safe during your Fourth of July fireworks show," 25 June 2019 The Malibu then struck a light pole and caught fire. Morgan Greene, chicagotribune.com, "3 killed in crash on Near West Side," 23 June 2019 Nobody’s really sure how many times the Cuyahoga River has caught fire. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "Smoke on the Water: 50 Years After the Cuyahoga Fire," 20 June 2019 Walcott jumped out fearing that the jerry cans would catch fire, and pulled a dazed McLister out. Abeer Kapoor, Quartz India, "The fascinating story of an American smuggler’s daring escapades in 1960s India," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Running from base to base, throwing a ball, swinging a bat, playing catch. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Waukesha school is using baseball to teach kids about math, technology and art this summer," 27 June 2019 The solution was enough to make such bass-kissing catch-and-release anglers as TV host Jimmy Houston cry. John Goodspeed, ExpressNews.com, "Too many bass: A pond with a problem lures plenty of helpers," 20 June 2019 Gary Woodland later talked about his dad’s impact, the way Dan coached him in basketball, played catch with him and never let young Gary win. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Gary Woodland comes up big on Father’s Day, wins U.S. Open at Pebble Beach," 16 June 2019 Covey played catch Friday and expects to throw off the mound Saturday. Lamond Pope, chicagotribune.com, "Dylan Covey feeling 'much better' as he recovers from right shoulder inflammation," 14 June 2019 Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana played catch, and 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau did a bit of everything. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: Leave it to Joe Mauer to schedule retirement ceremony around charity event," 14 June 2019 The fish Smiley caught on May 4 was recognized this week as the Utah state record for a catch-and-release lake trout, measuring 48 inches. John Meyer, The Know, "Colorado man catches record fish the size of a 7-year-old child," 14 June 2019 On a recent evening, 7- and 8-year-old baseball players warmed up before a game on a ball field in Ford Heights by playing catch and practicing fielding. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Baseball field creates sense of community pride in Ford Heights," 7 June 2019 Back in September, the royals attended the Coach Core Awards, where Meghan was spotted playing catch with other attendees. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wore a Gray Blazer and Black Jeans to Visit Coach Core," 30 Oct. 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

5 Jul 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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