got·​cha | \ ˈgä-chə How to pronounce gotcha (audio) \

Definition of gotcha

: an unexpected usually disconcerting challenge, revelation, or catch also : an attempt to embarrass, expose, or disgrace someone (such as a politician) with a gotcha

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Examples of gotcha in a Sentence

The program has a few gotchas in store for unsuspecting computer users. the gotcha in the low monthly rate quoted by the cable company is that it is a teaser and good for only six months

Recent Examples on the Web

Greece gotcha: The Sea Turtles hacking group breached Greece's top level domain registrar. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "In Apple We Trust—Cyber Saturday," 13 July 2019 These gotchas are no accident: They are designed to limit the companies’ financial exposure from things that break often or that can be costly to fix or replace., "Don’t bother with home warranties," 5 July 2019 But these offerings also come with gotchas of their own. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, "Should you let your cable company sell you wireless service, too?," 29 June 2019 We may be too obsessed with gotcha questions and viral moments to understand the contours of this opening-gun event. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Miami Moonglow for Booker and Klobuchar," 27 June 2019 The other gotcha for creative professionals is that Adobe's photo and video editing software does not support Linux, the operating system that ships with Thelio. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, "The Best Alternatives to Apple's Mac and MacBook," 5 June 2019 The opinion noted, pointedly, that use of credit checks was permitted by the EEOC’s own hiring guidelines — an act of gotcha jiujitsu that was praised by the Wall Street Journal. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump’s reported Supreme Court finalists: Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Raymond Kethledge," 5 July 2018 Of course, in every hearing since 1987, Senators have asked gotcha questions and nominees have given evasive answers. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 His lack of basic human decency isn’t a gotcha to Democrat me or a victory for Republican you. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Our indecent president calls people seeking refuge ‘animals.’ It's hate speech. | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gotcha.' 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 gotcha

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gotcha

alteration of got you

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Statistics for gotcha

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gotcha

The first known use of gotcha was in 1974

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More Definitions for gotcha



English Language Learners Definition of gotcha

US, informal : an unexpected problem or usually unpleasant surprise

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


something desired as essential

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