noun (1)
catch·up | \ˈke-chəp, ˈka-\

less common spelling of

: a seasoned pureed condiment usually made from tomatoes


\ˈkach-ˌəp, ˈkech-\

Definition of catch-up (Entry 2 of 4)

: intended to catch up to a theoretical norm or a competitor's accomplishments


noun (2)

Definition of catch-up (Entry 3 of 4)

: the act or fact of catching up or trying to catch up (as with a norm or competitor) had to play catch-up also : an increase intended to achieve catch-up

catch up


Definition of catch up (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to pick up often abruptly the thief caught the purse up and ran

b : ensnare, entangle education has been caught up in a stultifying mythology— N. M. Pusey

c : enthrall the … public was caught up in the car's magic— D. A. Jedlicka

2 : to provide with the latest information catch me up on the news

intransitive verb

1a : to travel fast enough to overtake an advance party The soldier ran to catch up with his unit.

b : to reach a state of parity (see parity sense 1) or of being able to cope students who miss class have difficulty catching up

2 : to bring about arrest for illicit activities the police caught up with the thieves

3a : to complete or compensate (see compensate sense 1) for something belatedly catch up on lost sleep

b : to acquire belated information catch up on the news

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Synonyms & Antonyms for catchup

Synonyms: Verb

enmesh (also immesh), ensnare, ensnarl, entangle, entrap, mesh, net, snare, tangle, trap

Antonyms: Verb

disentangle, untangle

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Examples of catchup in a Sentence


a young idealist who got caught up in the political fanaticism of the times completely caught up in opera ever since he saw La Traviata

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Health recently had the chance to catch up with the influencer at PopSugar Playground and chatted with her about everything from eating well to having a healthy mindset. Rebecca Shinners,, "The Surprising Thing Kayla Itsines Says You Should Do If You Want Stronger Abs," 10 July 2018 That’s technically difficult, meaning that some that have made progress are still waiting on others to catch up. Jason Laughlin,, "After Philly crash, railroads got more time to install a key safety system. Three years later, some still lag behind," 3 July 2018 But one of my elders told me it’s gonna take a while for others to catch up and to just be patient. Billboard, "David Banner Gets Candid About Hip-Hop's Instability and the Controversy Surrounding the 'N-Word'," 29 June 2018 YouTube also benefits from its status as a true destination for video, rather than a tab in an app that people are used to thumbing through quickly to catch up with their friends. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram announces IGTV, a standalone app for longer videos," 20 June 2018 Adults who take their own lives The highest rate of suicide increase in adults was among men 40 to 64 years old, although women are catching up. Michael Roizen, M.d., And Mehmet Oz, Houston Chronicle, "How can you recognize and prevent suicide?," 17 June 2018 Until humans can catch up with the technology powering their vehicles, accidents will happen. Chuck Tannert, Popular Mechanics, "Dumb Drivers, Smart Cars: How We Prevent the Next ‘Semi-Autonomous’ Car Crash," 2 June 2018 Sometimes, my son Robin calls from England at this time to catch up, but not today. Hilary Decent, Naperville Sun, "Decent: Cutting the cord means a long, very bad day," 25 May 2018 At the same time, the relationship brought Glencore unwanted attention as Gertler was caught up in other U.K. and U.S. bribery investigations. Thomas Wilson,, "Glencore Goes From Crisis to Crisis With Possible Bribery Probe," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catchup.' 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 catchup


1945, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1948, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for catchup


see catch entry 1

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Learn More about catchup

Phrases Related to catchup

play catch-up

Statistics for catchup

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Time Traveler for catchup

The first known use of catchup was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on catchup

Spanish Central: Translation of catchup

Comments on catchup

What made you want to look up catchup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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