noun, often attributive
catch·​all | \ˈkach-ˌȯl, 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

From my intimate point of view, library school is a bit of an academic catchall, sometimes a plan B, appealing to weirdos of many backgrounds. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 As news of the second imprisonment spread, angry ranchers — led by the Bundy family — and their allies converged in Burns, later rushing to a nearby wildlife refuge for a takeover that turned into a catchall protest against the federal government. New York Times, "How a Tycoon and Pence Friend Helped 2 Ranchers Get Pardons," 12 July 2018 For these companies, AI incorrectly has become a catchall phrase for anything that has to do with data or workflow. Arif Janmohamed, Fortune, "Most ‘AI’ Companies Are Not AI Companies. Here’s How to Tell," 3 July 2018 Administrative leave is the government’s catchall term for giving employees paid time off without charge to vacation time or another regular form of leave. Eric Yoder, Washington Post, "Federal government open Tuesday, but agencies encouraged to grant employees time off to view Capitals parade," 11 June 2018 Many of her pieces were intricately carved hearts that could be used as soap dishes, trivets or small catchalls for jewelry. Ruth Sowby Rands,, "On the Town: College’s ceramics sale raises funds for equipment," 4 June 2018 What this means to you: Right now, Intel’s 8th-generation Core designation seems more like a catchall than anything else, with both the 14nm++ and 10nm Core chips all falling into it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel finally reveals its first 10nm Cannon Lake chip: A Core i3 for notebooks," 16 May 2018 DeFranco says that the app is based around a hyper-focused community, rather than acting as a catchall social platform like Twitter. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "One of YouTube’s biggest creators just launched a video-based app off-platform," 9 May 2018 Prisons are a catchall for people who are born screwed and go on to screw up. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "In The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner Is Standing Up for the Guilty," 27 Apr. 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

1838, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of catchall was in 1838

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English Language Learners Definition of catchall

: something that holds or includes many different things

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