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

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 If the industry can sidestep new shortages, manufacturers will put pedal to metal, running as much overtime as possible, but Gardner said Honda doesn’t expect to catch up and will continue facing weak inventories. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, 19 Jan. 2022 Alfred Driwale has urged children to catch up with their immunizations. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2022 Most of the schools that closed were in the Northeast and Midwest, though those in the West and South are starting to catch up. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2022 The administration clearly dropped the ball on at-home testing months ago and is now scrambling to catch up. Damon Linker, The Week, 12 Jan. 2022 When Namath was signed by the Jets in 1965 after leading the University of Alabama to a national championship, Maynard finally had a quarterback who could consistently unleash passes to catch up with his downfield sprints. New York Times, 10 Jan. 2022 Two pandemic-shot installments aired in between, but Sunday night was the first time that fans were able to catch up with all of the characters at once since the Aug. 8, 2019, first-season finale. Amber Dowling, Variety, 10 Jan. 2022 In fact, the restaurant was so busy that the staff had to stop carryout orders just to catch up. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2022 One-fifth of corporate occupiers are significantly ahead on the sustainability maturity curve—these leaders will end up driving the sustainability agenda, leaving the rest to catch up. Kamya Miglani, Fortune, 7 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for catchup

Time Traveler

The first known use of catchup was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near catchup

catch unawares/unprepared/by surprise



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Statistics for catchup

Cite this Entry

“Catchup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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