noun, often attributive
catch·​all | \ ˈkach-ˌȯl How to pronounce catchall (audio) , ˈkech-\

Definition of catchall

: something that holds or includes odds and ends or a wide variety of things a catchall tray dyspepsia is a catchall term for stomach discomfort

Examples of catchall in a Sentence

They used the drawer as a catchall for kitchen items. “The arts” is a catchall for a variety of activities from painting to music.

Recent Examples on the Web

But that’s really a catchall for any combination of pasta and fresh vegetables. Wolfgang Puck, Twin Cities, "Wolfgang Puck: A pasta dish for all seasons," 5 June 2019 That's the catchall phrase for career officials and the Washington establishment who, Trump believes, have tried to protect their own grasp on power by sabotaging him. Zeke Miller And Jonathan Lemire,, "Tempest over Trump-Putin call turns into uproar over leaks," 21 Mar. 2018 To make its case, the government is relying on the same catchall bribery charge prosecutors have used to put crooked politicians in prison. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "At the Core of College Admissions Case: When Is Cheating a Crime?," 13 Mar. 2019 These questions are increasingly bound up in other kinds of identities, like religion and urban-versus-rural, with partisan identity serving as a kind of cultural catchall. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The strange argument that Democrats actually lost the midterms, debunked," 9 Nov. 2018 There’s just one problem: Like most culinary catchalls, nouvelle cuisine oversimplifies, emphasizing certain aspects of the trend while omitting the nuance and individuality that distinguishes any chef. Longreads, "“We All Had the Same Acid Flashback at the Same Time”: The New American Cuisine," 29 Mar. 2018 The gadgets can be disabled through reset buttons and changing a home’s Wi-Fi password, but their makers said there was no catchall fix. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse," 23 June 2018 Don’t Get Hung Up on Catchphrases Such as Streetwear or Hypebeast Streetwear as a catchall fashion term? Steff Yotka, Vogue, "A Runway That Reflects Our World: How 4 Brands Are Bringing Fashion to Life," 11 Oct. 2018 Bruce Applegate, who carries a variety of job titles but calls himself the city catchall, thinks the city has more to offer. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018

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

1827, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for catchall

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catchall

The first known use of catchall was in 1827

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More Definitions for catchall



English Language Learners Definition of catchall

: something that holds or includes many different things

More from Merriam-Webster on catchall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catchall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catchall

Comments on catchall

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


showing courage and determination

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