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 Seek out others who want to get together and exchange ideas or gossip, or just catch up on life. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for December 28, 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 See why the Pelicans selected the lightning-quick Alabama standout below, plus catch up on five quick facts about him here. Staff Report,, "Pelicans vs Raptors live scoreboard, updates: Follow live from 2020 season-opener in Tampa Bay," 23 Dec. 2020 But the Beavers also fell behind 28-7 and couldn’t catch up from there. oregonlive, "Pac-12 football power rankings: Oregon Ducks maintain top spot," 10 Nov. 2020 Smaller groups of employees recently started getting together to work and catch up on the usual office small talk at a local park. Alyssa Newcomb, NBC News, "Front-yard happy hours to brainstorming in the park: Finding ways to beat the WFH blues," 18 Sep. 2020 Free from jobs, husbands and kids, the four women -- who lead very different lives -- enjoy martinis, catch up and meddle in each other’s lives the way good friends do. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Learn the ins and outs of planting trees and tap into your family roots: Valley Views," 7 Sep. 2020 According to Cooper, the treatment industry needs to adapt and catch up. Michelle Konstantinovsky, Scientific American, "COVID-19-Era Isolation is Making Dangerous Eating Disorders Worse," 26 Aug. 2020 The inefficiencies the Eagles once exploited are now the efficiencies behind booming offenses across the league—with Philadelphia left to adapt and catch up. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Philadelphia Eagles Spurred an NFL Revolution. Now They’re Chasing It.," 14 Dec. 2020 Tart then ran back to try and catch up to the rest of the play and stepped on Teller’s right leg. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Lamar Jackson expected to start vs. Cowboys with chance to prove he is still future of franchise: NFL news roundup," 8 Dec. 2020

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 19 Jan. 2021.

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