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

The Patriots made the Brown signing official Monday afternoon, giving Brady one of the most prolific pass-catching corps in NFL. BostonGlobe.com, "Antonio Brown’s locker awaits near Tom Brady’s - The Boston Globe," 10 Sep. 2019 In retrospect, a more nuanced headline would have been better, rather than an eye-catching (albeit imprecise) riff on a line from countless movies. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Kicking a dependence on prescription drugs can be very hard. Here’s how I’m doing it," 10 Sep. 2019 The eye-catching look, from the label's Resort 2020 collection, featured a chain halter neck and ultra-high leg slit. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Goes Bold in a Bright Yellow Leopard Versace Dress," 6 Sep. 2019 In the images, Bell wears a romantic off-the-shoulder Rue de Seine gown, while Stork accessorizes his own casual ensemble with a pair of eye-catching orange Puma sneakers. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "The Doctors' Travis Stork Shares New Exclusive Photos from His 'Low-Key, No-Frills’ Wedding," 6 Sep. 2019 One of the Saints' few flaws last year was secondary pass-catching options outside of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara (particularly in the red zone), and Cook provides another target defenses really need to pay attention to. Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley’s Texans-Saints Q&A with Tom Mantzouranis," 6 Sep. 2019 Murray, an athletic marvel who was a top-10 pick in the Major League Baseball draft, will operate primarily out of shotgun, with a good pass-catching running back, David Johnson, by his side. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "How the 1999 Music City Bowl will help Detroit Lions prepare for Kyler Murray," 3 Sep. 2019 To bring the disparate elements of your look together, choose a slightly oversize man's shirt, tuck it in, and top it with an eye-catching, wide belt that accentuates your shape. Town & Country, "How to Wear a Classic White Button-Down Shirt for Any Occasion," 3 Sep. 2019 Ross Dwelley is likely the No. 2 pass-catching tight end, Levine Toilolo the No. 2 blocking tight end, and Kaden Smith the capable backup at either spot. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "49ers mailbag: Will the line be able to protect Jimmy G?," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Enunwa had just one catch in the season opener for minus-4 yards, and briefly left early in the game before returning. Dennis Waszak Jr., courant.com, "Jets WR Quincy Enunwa out for season with neck injury," 11 Sep. 2019 Harvests of the Argentine hake, traditionally the largest fish catch in Uruguay, have plummeted. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Large parts of the globe have already passed a crucial climate threshold," 11 Sep. 2019 Many millennials are still playing catch-up more than a decade after the Great Recession. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, "'Here we go again': Young Americans turn to memes, dark humor in face of recession," 10 Sep. 2019 As the woman between them, Ashton begins tightly coiled upon herself, twitchy and punctuating Emma and Jerry’s post-affair catch-up with nervous smiles. Allison Adato, EW.com, "Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Cox, and Zawe Ashton command a smart, stripped down Betrayal," 6 Sep. 2019 If recession fears are overblown and the trade war and global troubles don’t derail the record 10-year-old economic expansion, employers actually could ramp up hiring in the months ahead to play catch-up after trimming hours, Goldman says. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Workers are putting in fewer hours. Is that a sign a recession is coming?," 5 Sep. 2019 He almost got fast tracked and had to play catch-up. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Aaron's Long Road: USMNT, Red Bulls Center Back's Unlikely Journey," 4 Sep. 2019 Progress report: Ridley has been playing catch-up since suffering a hamstring injury in the first practice of training camp. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Assessing the Bears’ 5 draft picks as the preseason ends: What’s their outlook for the 2019 season?," 30 Aug. 2019 At St Thomas Aquinas, they have been used for catch-up quizzes at the start of maths lessons and to film gymnastics to check on technique. The Economist, "Free iPads for Scottish pupils," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for catch

Last Updated

17 Sep 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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