noun (1)
catch·​up | \ ˈke-chəp How to pronounce catchup (audio) , ˈka- How to pronounce catchup (audio) \

less common spelling of

: a seasoned pureed condiment usually made from tomatoes


\ ˈkach-ˌəp How to pronounce catch-up (audio) , 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

caught up; catching up; catches 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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of catchup in a Sentence

Verb 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 Some days, my mom and I didn't catch up with one another until the evening, but those times were special. Jaclyn Greenberg, CNN, 1 June 2021 Can anyone else possibly catch up in points to earn the title of All Stars champion? Ew Staff,, 27 May 2021 Unfortunately, the law may not always be able to fully catch up with these types of crimes, especially if the bad actors are from outside of your country’s jurisdictions. Catherine Hernandez-blades, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Fans of the hit sitcom Friends can catch up with all the stars of the show with the Friends reunion special airing on HBO Max. John Lonsdale, Rolling Stone, 26 May 2021 In the study, Fed researchers stopped short of predicting if — or when — Black millennials will ever catch up to the previous generation. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 21 May 2021 Education advocates are sounding the alarm as school districts rush to spend roughly $55 billion dollars in state and federal funds aimed to help districts recover from the pandemic and students who struggled academically to catch up. Emma Talley, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 May 2021 Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s potential COVID-19 vaccine (catch up on it and other latecomers here) is moving to the final trial phase, after earlier trials demonstrated a robust immune response. David Meyer, Fortune, 18 May 2021 At some point, Father Time will catch up, but not yet. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2021

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


1879, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1885, 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

Time Traveler for catchup

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for catchup

Cite this Entry

“Catchup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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