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

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 Mary Kay Cabot, Dan Labbe and Scott Patsko looked ahead to the game and got caught up on news of the week. Dan Labbe,, "How does Sam Darnold’s absence influence Monday night’s game? Orange and Brown Talk Podcast," 12 Sep. 2019 My character, Lilly, journeys to Ethiopia and is caught up in the breakout of civil war. Alexia Fernandez,, "Dakota Fanning Speaks Out Amid Backlash to Her Role As a Muslim Woman in New Movie," 5 Sep. 2019 My character, Lilly, journeys to Ethiopia and is caught up in the breakout of civil war. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Dakota Fanning responds to casting backlash over Muslim role in new refugee movie," 5 Sep. 2019 Hulk, as a solo film property, is caught up in legal distribution rights with Universal. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'She-Hulk' Solves a Longtime Marvel Problem," 30 Aug. 2019 Get caught up: Friday's scores from Indiana's high school football games Brownstown Central at Charlestown Though Marion Lukes made the position switch to quarterback, his biggest weapon was still his legs. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "What to know about each of the Week 2 Southern Indiana football games," 28 Aug. 2019 Just got caught up in the emotion, the heat of the battle. Michael Shapiro,, "Ben Roethlisberger Regrets Criticism of Antonio Brown: 'It Ruined a Friendship'," 27 Aug. 2019 As such, the show can be a gateway drug for newbies who don’t know much about Star Wars but can get caught up in the Wild-West version of its world. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "We Broke Down Every Second of the Mandalorian Trailer," 25 Aug. 2019 The kids are all caught up in the Baker Family's trial against the school for Hannah's death, and which involves the rape claims against Bryce, and Chloe hopes to keep Jessica from speaking out against him. Rachel Paige,, "Everything That Happened Between Bryce & Chloe In 13 Reasons Why Season 2," 24 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for catchup

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).


to speed up the process or progress of

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