play catch-up


: to try to reach the same position, score, etc., as a competitor after one has fallen behind
The team fell behind in the second inning and has had to play catch-up ever since.
The company has been trying to play a difficult game of catch-up ever since its competitor introduced the new product.

Dictionary Entries Near play catch-up

Cite this Entry

“Play catch-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?