noun (1)
catch·​up | \ˈke-chəp, ˈka-\

less common spelling of

: a seasoned pureed condiment usually made from tomatoes


\ˈkach-ˌəp, 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


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

enmesh (also immesh), ensnare, ensnarl, entangle, entoil, entrap, mesh, net, snare, tangle, trap

Antonyms: Verb

disentangle, untangle

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Examples of catchup in a Sentence


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

Sorry, just got caught up in all the initials and was feeling left out.) Part of the angst on behalf of the TOC and CTT was that their summary of things was not included in the packet that is distributed to everyone. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Goodbye to the winter/spring Santa Anita meeting," 25 June 2018 Peyton Manning is still caught up in the fallout from the Al Jazeera network's 2015 documentary accusing U.S. athletes of using performance-enhancing drugs. Jenny Green, Indianapolis Star, "5 things we now know about the Al Jazeera-Peyton Manning legal battle," 13 June 2018 Tiny, oil-rich Kuwait has been caught up in a wider crackdown on dissent across the Persian Gulf Arab states, whose monarchical rulers were alarmed by the pro-democracy protests that swept the region seven years ago. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 And the outgoing government has been caught up in a series of graft scandals. Nacha Cattan,, "Mexico Heads to Polls With Leftist on Brink of Historic Victory," 1 July 2018 And the outgoing government has been caught up in a series of graft scandals. Nacha Cattan And Eric Martin / Bloomberg, Time, "Mexicans Go to the Polls With Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on the Brink of Historic Victory," 1 July 2018 And the outgoing government has been caught up in a series of graft scandals. Fortune, "Mexico Heads to Polls With Left-Wing Leader on Brink of Historic Victory," 1 July 2018 Even those families who crossed the border hoping for asylum were caught up in the El Paso experiment. NBC News, "Trump admin ran 'pilot program' for separating migrant families in 2017," 29 June 2018 In 1993, Woewiyu – then serving as Taylor’s defense minister and chief spokesman — was caught up in an undercover sting operation conducted by U.S. customs officials hoping to snare a Florida arms smuggler. Jeremy Roebuck,, "How a Delco man sought to use stolen U.S. military weapons to wage war in Liberia," 28 June 2018

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


1945, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1948, 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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Statistics for catchup

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Time Traveler for catchup

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on catchup

Spanish Central: Translation of catchup

Comments on catchup

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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