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 It’s from these pejorative meanings that the word’s usage broadened around the 1930s to refer to the mentally ill, becoming kind of a catchall term for crazy, along with other slang like bananas (which also was a slang term for a gay man) and nuts. Joseph Lamour, Bon Appétit, 22 June 2022 Let’s, therefore, go with AI activism as the appropriate overarching moniker and drop the AI advocacy phrasing as a potentially equivalent catchall. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 4 June 2022 Suffolk police also launched a then-new website,, as a catchall for information pertaining to the case. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 6 May 2022 Used as a catchall for the ways our world has changed with Covid-19, this phrase was actually banished (for different reasoning) back in 2012. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 2 Jan. 2022 This vision contrasted with the Greek view of Hades as the catchall for the human soul and the early Hebrew Bible’s description of Sheol as a shadowy pit of nothingness. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 By the end of 2021, the U.S. had a catchall booster recommendation for adults (and has since expanded it to kids as young as 5), but whatever the benefit of a booster might be, much of the public had disengaged. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 28 June 2022 Many companies are also offering a catchall travel expense reimbursement for medical procedures, including abortions. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 23 June 2022 Based on the catchall statistic of Wins Above Replacement, six of the 12 most valuable Red Sox players this season either aren’t signed for 2023 or have the right to become a free agent after this season. Globe Staff,, 10 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of catchall

1827, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of catchall was in 1827

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Dictionary Entries Near catchall

cat chain



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Statistics for catchall

Last Updated

2 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Catchall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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