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, 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

The Pentagon has declared hypersonics its number one technical priority, but the official in charge of the program recently acknowledged that the U.S. is playing catch up to Russia and China. David Martin, CBS News, "Inside the global race to develop hypersonic weapons," 13 July 2018 Rice has caught up to the farm-to-table trend, and the digital economy provides Southern rice producers access to markets far beyond their region. Osayi Endolyn, WSJ, "Why Chefs Are Elevating Rice to Star Ingredient Status," 13 July 2018 But now that aluminum and steel prices are caught up in the trade war, Buzdum said no one knows more than one day at a time. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trump's global trade war expected to inflict economic causalities in Wisconsin and across nation," 10 July 2018 Perhaps greater attention to Twitch's incomplete shop will get the rest of the company to catch up and become as impressive as this two-week game bundle. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Twitch Prime’s “free game every day” for half of July adds up to a ton," 3 July 2018 The authority’s unusual delay is to let the Florida Department of Transportation catch up in the contest to see which agency presents the most compelling plan for an east-west highway through Bithlo. Kevin Spear,, "Central Florida toll-road operator to approve $678 million expressway across Bithlo, then shelve the plan," 29 June 2018 More: Has pop culture finally caught up with RuPaul? Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "'RuPaul's Drag Race': Which queen will win Season 10? Who should?," 27 June 2018 Spieth, the 2017 winner, said it himself — you can’t get caught up scoreboard watching. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Players Look To Practice Patience At TPC River Highlands This Week," 21 June 2018 The private bus line Greyhound has also been caught up in the heightened immigration crackdown, with the ACLU and members of Congress calling on the company to stop letting Border Patrol agents conduct raids on board. Author: Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Anchorage Daily News, "Airlines demand feds stop using their flights to transport migrant children separated from parents," 20 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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Learn More about catchup

Phrases Related to catchup

play catch-up

Statistics for catchup

Look-up Popularity

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 deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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