got·​cha ˈgä-chə How to pronounce gotcha (audio)
: an unexpected usually disconcerting challenge, revelation, or catch
also : an attempt to embarrass, expose, or disgrace someone (such as a politician) with a gotcha

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 The action of being frenetic and trying to search for your legally winning gotcha was old hat. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 There’s not a trace of gotcha in this tale of a white missionary, Renee Bach, who set up a malnutrition rehabilitation center in Uganda and seems to have taken on much of the treatment regimen herself – despite having no formal education beyond high school. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 But there may be governmental gotcha in the offing. Leonard David, Scientific American, 24 Sep. 2023 Then, Bash had to go into a break, leaving Ramaswamy’s smug gotcha reply–and misinformation–unchallenged. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 And the people who want to do gotchas on me only show the first part. David Wallace-Wells, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2023 Merit aid frequently comes with strings and a gotcha. Emma Whitford, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 Don't worry, Billie's gotcha. Seventeen, 13 Apr. 2022 But then there’s this gotcha: some merit aid is front-loaded, meaning that the college will grant the scholarship during the student’s first year, and later will reduce the award or won’t offer it at all, regardless of how well a student does in school. Emma Whitford, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gotcha.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of got you

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gotcha was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near gotcha

Cite this Entry

“Gotcha.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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