Definition of catch in English:



[with object]
  • 1Intercept and hold (something which has been thrown, propelled, or dropped)

    ‘she threw the bottle into the air and caught it again’
    • ‘Spread newspaper everywhere to catch the drops and make sure your room is well-ventilated.’
    • ‘He tossed both knives into the air and caught them before dropping into a crouch like his brother.’
    • ‘He jumped up, just barely catching the baseball thrown by his father.’
    • ‘A childish glee overtook her, and she put out her tongue to catch the falling rain drops.’
    • ‘Waking up from its slumber in cool waters, it sluggishly walks around, often opening its mouth to catch the banana thrown by the woman walking along with her.’
    • ‘There were always pots across one wall of her sitting room to catch the drops.’
    • ‘Every time there's even a semblance of running water, we put something under the faucet to catch the precious drops.’
    • ‘It's a conditioned reflex learnt in the pubs of south Wales, where he'd catch beer bottles thrown at him by angry boyfriends and disarm them with a grin and a glug.’
    • ‘She snatched up her shirt and boombox, rubbing the back of her hand over her forehead, catching the sweat drops before they fell.’
    • ‘He quickly dropped the knife and caught the blood in his palm before it could drip onto the coverlet.’
    • ‘Two people went up each tree while the third person ran around below with the backpack, trying to catch the fruit they dropped down.’
    • ‘She spins around like a little girl with her tongue sticking out to catch the drops.’
    • ‘Cyrus had to react quickly with the napkin to catch the drop of spaghetti sauce that had fallen from his lips.’
    • ‘Cover the ground with canvas drop cloths to catch the paint chips.’
    • ‘Try as Emilion might, he could not teach me to throw and catch the pesky things properly.’
    • ‘Her tongue darted out faster than humanly possible, catching a drop on the tip.’
    • ‘At Christmas, there is a store that gives away the unsold Christmas trees to anyone who can catch one when thrown in the air by the owner.’
    • ‘Brooke hurried over, and made it in time to slip a paper towel under his nose to catch the first few drops of blood.’
    • ‘His head was tilted back, his hands splayed out as if to catch drops from a leaking firmament.’
    • ‘The guard dropped his rifle to catch the incoming equipment.’
    seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
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    1. 1.1 Intercept the fall of (someone)
      ‘he fell forwards and Linda caught him’
      • ‘Matt grabbed her quickly, catching her before she fell off the bed.’
      • ‘As she pitched forward, about to fall, someone caught her by her upper arms.’
      • ‘He caught her before she could hit the ground.’
      • ‘Thankfully, Sam is around almost all the time, keeping an eye on me, ready to catch me when I fall.’
      • ‘A wave of dizziness washed over her as she stood up, she was about to fall but strong arms caught her before she did.’
      • ‘Her legs grow weak underneath her and she almost falls but he catches her.’
      • ‘Luckily, someone from behind caught her before she fell back onto the parking lot floor.’
      • ‘Andrew yelled as he ran to catch her before she fell to the deck.’
      • ‘The two stumbled and Joanne would have fallen but Mark caught her in mid-fall.’
      • ‘He rushed forward towards the princess and caught her as she fell from her horse.’
      • ‘He lowered himself while Jason stood just below him to catch him if he fell.’
      • ‘Her knees buckled under her and I caught her before she fell face down.’
      • ‘He catches me before I fall and then sends me past him, towards my closet.’
      • ‘How many times do you have to fall before someone catches you and stays around?’
      • ‘William caught her before she fell, holding her in the fold of his left arm.’
      • ‘Her first reaction was to run over there, and catch Jackie before she fell, but Jason beat her to it.’
      • ‘He dismounted just in time to catch her as she fell, and as a blanket was drawn about her, she instantaneously fell into a deep sleep.’
      • ‘The bouncer steps toward her, his arms ready to catch her should she fall.’
      • ‘He was too far away to catch her before she fell, her head hitting the cement.’
      • ‘She fell, but he caught her in his arms, and laid her gently on the floor.’
      seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Seize or take hold of.
      ‘he caught hold of her arm as she tried to push past him’
      • ‘At the top of your pull, quickly drop under and catch the bar with your arms extended overhead.’
      • ‘I thought my worst fears had come true when someone just caught hold of my hand.’
      • ‘She stood up but he caught hold of her arm before she walked away.’
      • ‘After that, it was a few moments before he caught hold of the younger boy's wrists and brought them up to pin them above Kael's head, bending down as he did so.’
      • ‘Halfway down, he caught hold of a branch and then scaled his way back to where his sentry post once was.’
      • ‘As we drove past, he caught hold of her hair and began pulling, even as her screams mingled with the loud music.’
      • ‘As they swung back towards Evie's bar for the second time, she caught hold of it, and the boy released her.’
      • ‘He reached up and caught my chin gently with his hand, turning me to face him.’
      • ‘They caught hold of his uniform and tore at it, especially all the more Zinfer tried to pull away from their grasp.’
      • ‘She caught hold of the boy's collar and dragged him, pushing him into his bed.’
      • ‘She reached over and caught his hand in hers, rubbing a thumb over the back of his palm.’
      • ‘The first three times I permitted it, but on the fourth I reached down and caught his hand.’
      • ‘The horse whinnied when Arnold caught hold of its bridle, rearing up on its hind legs.’
      • ‘When she reached the very top of the pipe she reached out with her hand and caught hold of the edge.’
      • ‘I slipped, caught hold of the back of a chair, and sat down on the floor, heavily.’
      • ‘You step back and Michael reaches out, catching the hem of your t-shirt in his hand.’
      • ‘She swung it at Shouma's face, but he caught her hand and threw it back at her.’
      • ‘He caught hold of her frantically fluttering hands and forced her to stay still and look at him.’
      • ‘Jack caught hold of her arm and pulled her back to stand in front of him.’
      • ‘But, he caught her arm and reached in his drawer in his nightstand and pulled out a syringe.’
      • ‘Leo caught hold of my arm and motioned to me that the coast was clear.’
      • ‘As Mary led him to where her SUV was parked, he reached out and caught her hand in his.’
      • ‘John used this time to free himself from the hold and he caught hold of the man breaking his attacker's wrist.’
      • ‘When they would have parted at the top of the stairs, Sam caught hold of her hand, stopping her.’
      • ‘He caught hold of the neck of the offending garment and ripped it clean to the hem.’
      • ‘I was about to turn and walk back to the pack when Mac reached out and caught my arm.’
      • ‘I should have let her go like that, but something beyond me made me reach out and catch her arm.’
      • ‘With a little smile, she made a little jump and caught hold of the end of the branch that was nearest the floor.’
      seize, grab, snatch, grab hold of, seize hold of, take hold of, lay hands on, lay one's hands on, get one's hands on, grasp, grip, clutch, clench, fasten on, pluck, hold, hang on to
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3catch atno object Grasp or try to grasp.
      ‘his hands caught at her arms as she tried to turn away’
      • ‘As he made to move off in search of new bandages, she weakly caught at his arm.’
      • ‘Gabriel caught at her hand as she wrenched open the door.’
      • ‘She hurried up the steps behind him and caught at his sleeve to get his attention.’
      • ‘Abby caught at his arm, and he started to push her away, then stopped himself.’
      • ‘Automatically, his own hands rose to catch at his master's arm.’
      grasp, clutch, hold, clasp, grasp hold of, lay hold of, take hold of, latch on to, grab, seize, clench, cling to, catch at, get one's hands on, pluck
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Cricket Dismiss (a batsman) by catching the ball before it touches the ground.
      ‘I was caught on the square-leg boundary for 96’
      • ‘He lands them at around three quarters length, and then pitches the odd one up, seaming it away, and catching the batsmen, rooted to the crease, napping.’
      • ‘He was caught alertly by Gatting at short leg.’
      • ‘Four of their batsmen were caught from blazing shots by fielders stationed on the boundary rope.’
      • ‘Little wonder then most of the batsmen are being caught behind the wicket.’
      • ‘Australia bowler Brett Lee dives to catch England batsman Andrew Strauss for 37.’
  • 2Capture (a person or animal that tries or would try to escape)

    ‘we hadn't caught a single rabbit’
    • ‘Very few city dwellers are willing to go to the trouble of catching a wild cat, which is a dangerous exercise anyway.’
    • ‘It was the fourth largest rainbow trout caught at the venue since 1979.’
    • ‘It always seemed to me that it was pretty rare for the hunt actually to catch a fox.’
    • ‘We arrived back at the Inn late that afternoon without having caught a single fish.’
    • ‘If you catch them you should throw them back in, or at very least agree not to take the three points.’
    • ‘The hunt, which was out for about four hours, did not catch a fox.’
    • ‘The Welsh terrier is a rough-coated animal with droopy ears, originally bred in Wales to catch rats, mice and other vermin.’
    • ‘‘No they are catching them and throwing them back into the water,’ I explained.’
    • ‘They feed cattle, dogs and cats because those animals are useful in daily life - cattle work in the fields, dogs protect the home and cats catch mice.’
    • ‘The easiest time of the year to catch rabbit is winter.’
    • ‘Government workers tried to catch the creature by laying cages and shooting it with tranquilliser darts, but they failed.’
    • ‘Anybody can get lucky and catch a single fish that's worth a prize.’
    • ‘We never made any secret of the fact that we used dogs to catch rabbits.’
    • ‘When the rabbit season comes, we hunt and catch a few rabbits.’
    • ‘The soldiers said they caught several species of fish including carp and a large catfish.’
    • ‘If the fox is caught, it is killed extremely quickly by the lead hound, which has a weight of five times that of the fox.’
    • ‘Traps of this kind, which are designed to catch foxes and rabbits, have been outlawed since 1954 when the Pest Act came into force.’
    • ‘Nowadays, with cats getting fed so well by their owners, they don't bother about catching mice for food, they use them as playthings, along with birds and other harmless creatures.’
    • ‘The culprit was quickly caught and thrown into a maximum security holding cell.’
    • ‘So far it had caught four mice, which he was certain were all different ones, rather than being the same one returning each time.’
    capture, seize
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    1. 2.1 Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.
      • ‘Lavan chases after Yaakov and upon catching him accuses Yaakov of stealing his Terafim.’
      • ‘He caught them with little effort, looked at them, and then smiled wide showing plenty of teeth.’
      • ‘Her hopes of a medal were effectively dashed when she made slight contact with a barrier and used her final efforts trying to catch the bronze-medal group.’
      • ‘I headed to the Myers house; I wasn't fast enough to catch Theo before he headed inside so I knocked on the door.’
      • ‘He was unable to catch the Briton ahead of him.’
      • ‘However, once he got to third, Harvey and Templeman were just too far ahead for Westbrook to catch them.’
      • ‘You don't want them looking at the table and thinking: Chelsea are too far ahead for us to catch them.’
      • ‘Nearing Poer Head, Conor and Denise Phelan in Endeavour managed to catch them but could not pass clear ahead.’
      • ‘There was almost an element of teasing the pursuing Gary Smith, for the centre-half came close to catching the fleet-footed striker.’
      • ‘The winner, ridden by Chris McCarron, caught the Irish horse in the run in and came out in front.’
      • ‘He says the people of Poland must work hard because they have a struggle ahead to catch the other countries of the West.’
      • ‘Could I run out to the fields and tell the boys fast enough for them to catch Hector before he reached town?’
      draw level, draw level with
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    2. 2.2be caught in Unexpectedly find oneself in (an unwelcome situation)
      ‘my sister was caught in a thunderstorm’
      • ‘But the trio were caught in heavy swells near Mayor Island late on Sunday night on the last leg of their return.’
      • ‘If it takes five hours in the process, with a resulting stiff do which makes you look like you were caught in a downpour, so what?’
      • ‘In his hands, Javier develops into a sympathetic character who is caught in the middle of an impossible situation.’
      • ‘I don't want us to be caught in that and by the looks of it I'd say we could be in for some snow.’
      • ‘My cheeks prickled with heat at the embarrassing circumstances we were caught in.’
      • ‘Would taxpayers have relief when faced with the situation of being caught in circumstances beyond their control?’
      • ‘You should never be caught in a situation where junk food is your only option.’
      • ‘You do not want to be caught in a situation where you don't have enough room on the truck for everything you want to take with you.’
      • ‘My last day there, we were caught in the middle of some ugliness on that bridge.’
      • ‘The Chinese migrants drowned in February when they were caught in fast-rising tides on the sands of Morecambe Bay.’
      • ‘If it were a fair world, the latter type would never be caught in a situation where things go horribly wrong.’
      • ‘But as we were riding through a desert, to make things even more challenging, we were caught in a sandstorm.’
      • ‘So, the president really seems to be caught in a Catch 22 here and it's largely of his own making.’
      • ‘They were catching fewer and fewer fish, and often they were caught in storms at sea.’
      • ‘A group of young, wealthy people are out for a cruise on a pleasure yacht when they are caught unexpectedly in a major storm.’
      • ‘But there was always the danger that he would be caught in situations he could not easily explain.’
      • ‘The spectators quickly made an exit, not wishing to be caught in crossfire.’
      • ‘We'd later learned they were caught in the traffic jam on the return trip.’
      • ‘An hour later we were caught in a terrific thunder storm - lightning, torrential rain, the works.’
      • ‘Speaking yesterday, Mr Ferguson said the law needed to be changed before anyone else was caught in the same situation.’
      • ‘I'm finally free of the round of writing and commissioning I've been caught in for the last fortnight.’
    3. 2.3 Surprise (someone) in an incriminating situation or in the act of doing something wrong.
      ‘he was caught with bomb-making equipment in his home’
      • ‘But as Alex began to unbutton his pants, she quickly turned her head, afraid he would catch her looking.’
      • ‘For the second week in a row a top Irish jockey was caught dropping his hands on a winning placed horse.’
      • ‘The individual was sentenced to six years in jail in July 2003 after being caught with a haul of heroin.’
      • ‘Police must be on top at all times and not caught napping when criminals strike.’
      • ‘Do not be taken by surprise if you are caught for speeding or riding without helmets this week.’
      • ‘An under-age driver caught at the wheel of a car has been warned that he could be locked up if he drives again within a year.’
      • ‘He spends all of his waking hours hatching schemes to catch the thief red-handed.’
      • ‘My last stepfather, upon catching me acting out the putrid stories, declared me crazy.’
      • ‘In August 2001 he was caught at the wheel of his car while more than three times over the legal limit.’
      • ‘She was caught by our photographer dropping bags of bread for the birds near the town bridge.’
      • ‘He repressed an urge to call for help, realizing how it would look if anyone caught him in this situation.’
      • ‘To their surprise they caught him with a soldier on Hampstead Heath.’
      • ‘Flushing a bit upon catching herself staring at him, Meira lowered her head quickly so as not to be noticed.’
      • ‘Funnily enough, I was almost caught in a compromising situation earlier by one of the engineers.’
      • ‘The fact is that it is ineffective in cases of proven crime and criminals who have been caught red-handed.’
      • ‘But the exercise continues as the police do not want to be caught napping.’
      • ‘Muscat was once caught naughtily propelling a clump of mud in the direction of an opponent stepping up to take a penalty.’
      • ‘But boy were we wrong when we caught him last night in a hot new nightclub in town getting down and dirty.’
      • ‘Unless we catch them throwing a bottle or dropping litter all we can do is ask them to leave.’
      • ‘But Frank returns unexpectedly and catches the two together in a confrontation that will change everyone's lives.’
      discover, detect, find, come across, come upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, turn up, expose, find out, unmask
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    4. 2.4 Come upon (someone) unexpectedly.
      ‘unexpected snow caught us by surprise’
      • ‘The unexpected attack caught him off guard and he landed on the porch with a thud.’
      • ‘He is again caught by surprise and the two topple over.’
      • ‘The cleric thinking he had done all he could do, was then caught off guard.’
      • ‘We've all been so worried about peak oil, it is not surprising we were caught unawares.’
      • ‘US military and civilian leaders were again caught by surprise, and another costly price was paid in American casualties.’
      • ‘He stood staring at her, almost as though her entrance had caught him by surprise.’
      • ‘Kenny draws blood from him but is then caught off guard.’
      • ‘When the bad weather hit I was caught completely by surprise.’
      • ‘I am afraid if we wait any longer, the fall rains will catch us.’
      • ‘If he caught you at the wrong time, he could talk your ear off.’
      • ‘An unseasonably early and severe storm caught several climbers by surprise in the Sierra Nevada.’
      • ‘By the end of the day though I was receiving profuse apologies from my accuser talking about pressures of work and being caught at a bad moment.’
      • ‘The situation had caught her so off guard that she had no idea how to approach it.’
      • ‘Intelligence authorities resolved that the United States should never again be caught unprepared.’
      • ‘The theatrical techniques adopted by the troupe caught the audience by surprise.’
      • ‘Timms' move was so sudden, so unexpected, that it caught the woman completely by surprise.’
      • ‘Once she was right behind him she jumped on his back and caught him completely by surprise.’
      • ‘The bike was powerful - far more so than he had expected - and the unexpected force caught him off guard.’
      • ‘On Monday an early morning call from our ace reporter Adam Nichols caught him by surprise.’
      • ‘There is little doubt that Stephen was caught by surprise.’
  • 3no object, with adverbial of place (of an object) accidentally become entangled or trapped in something.

    ‘a button caught in her hair’
    • ‘Her dress caught under her chair.’
    • ‘The hem of her pants caught under her shoes and she toppled toward, taking the boy with her.’
    • ‘Then the toe of your shoe catches in a crack in the sidewalk and you stumble forward, but quickly regain your balance, trying to keep you dignity intact.’
    • ‘Just then his pants caught on a nail that was sticking out from the roof, and the nail stopped his fall.’
    • ‘‘I'm sorry,’ she said, coming so hastily to her feet her heel caught in her skirt and she lurched forward.’
    entangle, snarl, entwine, intertwine, intertwist, twist, ravel, knot, enmesh, coil, mat, jumble, muddle
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    1. 3.1with object and adverbial of place Have (a part of one's body or clothing) become entangled or trapped in something.
      ‘she caught her foot in the bedspread’
      figurative ‘companies face increased risks of being caught in a downward spiral’
      • ‘I don't think anyone would start a dive in such a condition, but catching your suit on a sharp piece of wreckage is not uncommon.’
      • ‘She shifted her legs, being careful not to catch her trousers on the seat edge and sniffed the air delicately.’
      • ‘Danny had just caught his shirt and a bit of the skin underneath on some barbed wire.’
      • ‘She got up, careful not to catch the lab coat that Kate had lent her on the chair.’
      • ‘She chased him through the security gates and nearly caught her flowing skirt in the elevator.’
      • ‘He caught his right foot in a drain, his knee shredded, never to be the same.’
      • ‘Stumbling out, Steven catches his watch in a woman's hair.’
      • ‘Boys, nay men, need to remember to wipe the toothpaste from the corners of their mouth, the crumbs from their beards and not to catch their shirts in their flies.’
      • ‘I climbed out of the carriage after Amari, who was carefully making sure she didn't catch her dress on the carriage door.’
      • ‘I slipped the camera under first, but still managed to catch my shirt on the lock above.’
      • ‘I once caught a scarf in a lift door as it closed and only just managed to heave it free and save myself from a gruesome end.’
      • ‘On New Year's Eve, a woman caught her hair in an escalator.’
      • ‘He backed away, catching his long hair in the bush behind him as he did so.’
      • ‘Although she was totally at ease with her various facial attachments, I worried constantly about her catching something upon a pin or ring or stud.’
      become trapped, become stuck, stick, become wedged, become entangled, become snarled up, become snagged, snag
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    2. 3.2with object and adverbial of place Fix or fasten in place.
      ‘her hair was caught up in a chignon’
      • ‘Her hair was caught back in a great net of silver, also dotted with diamonds.’
      • ‘I raise my hand to smooth my hair back, catch some of it over my ear, but when I carry my hand near my hair it crackles and dances away in the dry wind.’
      fasten, do up, hook, strap, tie, secure, clasp, catch, clip
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  • 4Reach in time and board (a train, bus, or aircraft)

    ‘they caught the 12.15 from Oxford’
    • ‘I caught the train to Slovenia with a local, who was happy to tell me a bit about the country and help me master a few language basics.’
    • ‘Then I had to catch a bus, then a train, and walk quite a way to the house.’
    • ‘The group stayed on that boat for several hours, then unexpectedly disembarked and caught a later boat.’
    • ‘The pair fled in a taxi to Hull, where they caught the first train to Manchester and later went to London where they were finally arrested.’
    • ‘Your mother and I caught a bus from the airport last time.’
    • ‘It is not as if you can catch a bus or train, or hail a cab to go anywhere.’
    • ‘They stayed overnight in London and the next day caught another train to Brighton for their week-long honeymoon.’
    • ‘I caught the train and it was really nice to just sit back and read.’
    • ‘I alighted from the train at Huddersfield and caught a bus to New Mill.’
    • ‘Older people don't all have cars and must cross the road to catch the bus.’
    • ‘I slept another night and caught the train the next morning.’
    • ‘They were then taken to buy visas and had to reach Cancun to catch a flight to Cuba.’
    • ‘Mr North now has to catch a bus and a train to get to work which takes him two hours.’
    • ‘Back in London he caught a train from King's Cross to York.’
    • ‘One couple from Malton said they could catch the train from home and that the bus simply did not offer enough comfort.’
    • ‘At the end of that week, Pip drops Herbert off to catch his ship to Cairo.’
    • ‘I only just catch my train, quickly jump on the first carriage, and bury myself in my morning paper.’
    • ‘Police also want to speak to three men who caught a train about 8.40 pm and were overheard talking about the incident.’
    • ‘The next morning I caught a bus to east Leeds and walked about.’
    • ‘Passengers would be able to spend time in the city before booking in and catching a new secure rail service to their flight.’
    be in time for, reach in time, make, get to
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 Reach or be in a place in time to see (a person, performance, programme, etc.)
      ‘she was hurrying downstairs to catch the news’
      • ‘I've just caught the end of a brief TV programme about Sonia Lo, co-founder of A Recipe for Peace.’
      • ‘I made it in time to catch the end of the women's three-metre springboard event.’
      • ‘I wandered out of the foyer, just catching the start of the next interaction at the reception desk.’
      • ‘Fans of Chorley artist Tom Titherington can still catch his exhibition of his memories of the Second World War at the University of Liverpool.’
      • ‘If you get a chance - like, you're at home during the day, or babysitting, or a student, or something - catch an episode.’
      • ‘I had caught the tail end of his performance - enough to give me but a small idea of the man.’
      • ‘Along the way several security lights were triggered one by one and the neighbours twitched their curtains aside to catch the end of the display.’
      • ‘It's open to all, so go along and catch the end of a festival that demonstrates a rare collegiate collaboration, all in the name of art.’
      • ‘We've arrived just in time to catch the end of Feast Week, a festival of which I still know very little.’
      • ‘Just this morning I caught the tail end of yet another appeal on behalf of a young child in desperate need of surgery abroad.’
      • ‘It was 18 July, unseasonably hot in Beirut, and I got back from the vet's just in time to catch the end of the 12 o'clock news.’
      • ‘I worked another 12 hour shift on Sunday, getting home in time to catch the tail end of the Oscars.’
      • ‘And if you're lucky, you might just catch the end of the sales.’
      • ‘I don't usually watch a lot of local TV but happened to catch a programme last night about a farm with a herd of buffaloes.’
      • ‘I was then just in time to catch the final episode of The Office.’
      • ‘There was one of these in Seattle that I only caught the tail end of because I was working.’
      • ‘On the upside, I think I'll get to catch an episode of Sports Night.’
      • ‘Andy Warhol had got up early in his mother's old house on East 66th Street, Manhattan, to catch the match on the TV networks.’
      • ‘You can now stop following scores on the Internet after lunch and rushing home from work to catch the final session on TV.’
      • ‘There is still time to catch an exhibition of beautiful and practical baskets and intriguing paper imprints at Brantwood's Severn Studio.’
    2. 4.2North American informal Attend or watch (a performance)
      ‘we'll get some burgers and catch a movie’
      • ‘Saturday night Big-P and I caught an early session of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and I loved it.’
      • ‘‘Let's go catch a movie,’ Matt said as he tossed an apple in the air and caught it.’
      • ‘We could catch a movie, go to downtown San Fran, shop around there a bit.’
      • ‘Soccer and rugby fans could face difficulty catching matches in Bradford's pubs next season because Sky Sports has upped its subscriptions.’
      • ‘He had told me to meet him at six again and we would catch the movie at 6:30.’
      • ‘Maybe catching a movie will help iron out stress between friends.’
      • ‘She had the house to herself since Mariana went out to catch a movie with Jeremy and her parents were running errands.’
      • ‘Well, we were thinking of catching the movie at six, but hanging out at the beach a bit before the movie.’
      • ‘That big building with the Coca-Cola sign was next to where he used to catch movies with his friend.’
      • ‘I should run to the grocery store once I get my menus planned for next week and we're going to try and catch a movie.’
      • ‘The center is also used for just getting off the streets or catching an afternoon movie on the big screen t.v. with surround sound.’
      • ‘Anthony and Jamie decided to catch a late movie so they left soon after Conner did, leaving only Rachel and Ian.’
      • ‘So, to sum up and conclude, if you want the long version of a great story, go rent the first two movies, then catch the last one in theaters.’
      • ‘After that we're all going to the movies to catch that latest horror flick.’
      • ‘My last class is at three, maybe we can catch a movie; you know, to get your mind off things.’
      • ‘They caught a late movie, and it was quite late before they made it back to Marin's apartment.’
      • ‘We all decided to head down to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to catch a screening of the movie Homepage.’
      • ‘Hopefully ex-pat Crikey readers can respond to our email request below to let us know how and where you are planning on catching the big race.’
      • ‘I plan to spend Saturday shopping, catching a movie or taking a run in the park.’
      • ‘Friday Night I would pick them up and head to the Promenade, maybe for a quick bite at Islands or On The Border and then catch a movie.’
      be present at, be at, be there at, sit in on, take part in
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  • 5Engage (a person's interest or imagination)

    ‘it was the business scheme that had caught his imagination’
    • ‘American modernism, full of exiles and immigrants, caught his attention early.’
    • ‘To catch students' interest and to highlight the importance of recycling a competition is being held over the next four weeks.’
    • ‘She browsed through her entries for a long time, before finding something that caught her interest.’
    • ‘Her red hair caught his attention first, and then it was those icy blue eyes.’
    • ‘I have quite an eye for fashionable clothing and this garment caught my attention immediately.’
    • ‘The next venture was a jumble-sale which caught the imagination of so many and began the fund-raising in earnest.’
    • ‘I haven't read it all yet, but one facet of the investigation has caught my interest.’
    • ‘The idea has caught the imagination of the national media and it is hoped more information will be available next week.’
    • ‘I hope this scheme will catch the imagination of the public and we shall be exploring the opportunities for investment from the private sector.’
    • ‘There were other topics that caught my interest.’
    • ‘He knows how to catch the interest of a college crowd, too.’
    • ‘Having caught your attention and thrown you back in time, he shows you something worth watching.’
    • ‘But they soon caught the public imagination, in Yorkshire more than most places.’
    • ‘If Egan had simply made this argument and then left town, his lobbying effort might not have caught my notice.’
    • ‘Again I was lost in a daze, staring at the boy who had caught my attention earlier.’
    • ‘Consequently, house prices would need to drop very significantly to catch my attention.’
    • ‘It is clear at this stage that the song has a universal appeal, catching the imagination of young and old alike.’
    • ‘He was just walking through the library, not looking for anything in particular, when he comes upon a book that catches his attention.’
    • ‘Something about her caught my imagination, not beauty in the traditional sense but some unknown quality.’
    • ‘The scheme has already caught the imagination and interest of local school children.’
    • ‘You go to a shopping mall and have to keep detouring around people who stop dead in the middle of the aisle when something catches their interest.’
    engage, capture, attract, draw, gain, grab, arrest, seize, hold, win, absorb, engross, rivet, grip, captivate, bewitch
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 Perceive fleetingly.
      ‘she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror’
      • ‘Many times Edward caught sight of Sarah dropping her fork or spoon, and although she look quite the lady he knew better because of her manners.’
      • ‘As he leapt out of the water and towards his bike, he was travelling at such lightning speed that I barely caught a glimpse of him.’
      • ‘I caught a glimpse of a clock and it read about two ten in the morning.’
      • ‘The customer smiled back and then I caught sight of Aidan reaching with his hand toward the lowest shelf.’
      • ‘My upper body wavered precariously and my eyes watered as I caught sight of the drop below.’
      • ‘This time she caught a glimpse of his slim figure but she still could not see his face.’
      • ‘Elly turned to Jade's companion, her jaw dropping as she caught sight of the strange menagerie.’
      • ‘He even caught a glimpse of some movement out of the corner of his eye.’
      • ‘As he walked to the showers he caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror.’
      • ‘My already sad heart dropped when I caught sight of the peeling piece of wood that read New Hope Ranch.’
      • ‘Glancing over his shoulder, he caught a glimpse of her on her cell phone.’
      • ‘Among the sludgy grey clouds were a few streaks of indigo and, when the sun peeked out and the wind dropped, we caught a glimpse of what sea kayaking is all about.’
      • ‘I looked up and caught sight of Kenny throwing his black backpack on the table.’
      • ‘I still recall one Sunday morning when I caught a glimpse of them outside.’
      • ‘Hurriedly pulling a comb through his dark hair, he caught his image in a mirror.’
      • ‘Is this a sight from heaven or what: catching a glimpse of her is enough to make you reach for the blood-pressure tablets.’
      • ‘His body froze as he caught sight of another man standing back in the shadows of the cave with his arms folded across his chest.’
      • ‘The shopkeeper could have caught a glimpse of the plastic bags.’
      • ‘At first she could see nothing, but then caught a glimpse of something black trying to hide from her behind a branch.’
      • ‘A good hour passes before we reach Skull Island and catch a glimpse of the mighty Kong.’
      perceive, notice, observe, discern, detect, note, become aware of, make out, spot, see
      View synonyms
    2. 5.2 Hear or understand (something said), especially with effort.
      ‘he bellowed something Jess couldn't catch’
      • ‘Let's call her Tamsin, Or Timsun, as she would say it, although she said her name so fast I never caught it.’
      • ‘But it was an effort for him to talk, his voice so low that I could not always catch what he said, and sometimes he would collapse back on to the bed trying to hide his exasperation.’
      • ‘I had to raise and lower the volume more than once to catch what had just been said.’
      • ‘The few words that Neesha did catch were too jumbled up to understand.’
      • ‘He went inside mumbling something about friends and enemies that I didn't quite catch.’
      • ‘Our hyper friendly waiter must have caught the drift of our chatter about geese and pigs, and soon joined in.’
      • ‘‘Be quiet, everyone,’ he said as he caught the drift of what was coming out of the juke box.’
      hear, perceive, recognize, discern, make out
      View synonyms
    3. 5.3 Succeed in evoking or representing.
      ‘the programme caught something of the flavour of Minoan culture’
      • ‘He explores the space, catches its relationship and represents it in various forms.’
      • ‘It really catches the feel of Dave's work.’
      • ‘His mastery was in describing exciting events and in catching the flavor of the moment.’
      evoke, conjure up, suggest, summon up, call to mind, recall, express, reproduce, represent, show, encapsulate, capture, record
      View synonyms
  • 6 Strike (someone) on a part of the body.

    ‘Ben caught him on the chin with an uppercut’
    • ‘The stinging blow caught the youth across the head, sending him stumbling to the side.’
    • ‘He was able to dodge, but only partially, and the blow caught him on the outside of his rib cage.’
    • ‘The blow that caught me around the ears knocked me to the floor.’
    • ‘The blow caught Philip in the back and sent him flying onto his stomach.’
    • ‘Peter swung around, and the flat of his knife caught her a glancing blow on the side of the head.’
    • ‘Sally stumbled backward as a second blow caught her in the forehead.’
    • ‘He evaded the blow quite easily and caught Steve in the mouth with his left fist.’
    • ‘The blow caught him heavily in the chest and he started to slump.’
    • ‘She just barely dodged a more deadly blow that only caught her in the chest cutting open her shirt and cutting her skin.’
    • ‘The informant's blow caught him full force in the chest causing him to curse into the gag.’
    • ‘Eric spun around to block the blow but was caught from the side by the killer's fist.’
    • ‘A shock ran through him like a physical blow, catching him in the stomach and nearly knocking him over.’
    • ‘The perspex side caught me a nasty blow (as they say) on the forehead and the forearm.’
    • ‘He saw Derryn's fatigue and struck out quickly, catching Derryn across his ribs with his blade.’
    • ‘Warner lunged, but Walters moved aside, catching Warner a glancing blow with a fist to the side of his head.’
    • ‘A few heavy blows caught me bruisingly in the face, and I quickly let go of the creature.’
    hit, strike, slap, smack, crack, bang, connect with, contact
    View synonyms
    1. 6.1 Accidentally strike (a part of one's body) against something.
      ‘she fell and caught her head on the corner of the hearth’
      • ‘As he fell he caught his head on the edge of the bay dock leveller.’
      • ‘On a mountain bike, you have to have narrow bars or you'll catch yourself on a tree.’
      • ‘I caught my leg on the corner of a little metal bench and I really started to bleed.’
      • ‘Round-off protruding parts on the stairs, e.g. ends of the landing, stair edges and posts, so that you do not catch yourself on them or injure yourself on the sharp edges.’
      • ‘I pictured a back-handed blow, a woman slumping, catching her head on a hard surface.’
  • 7Contract (an illness) through infection or contagion.

    ‘he served in Macedonia, where he caught malaria’
    • ‘He caught scarlet fever when he was a young child and this affected his hearing.’
    • ‘Despite being given 34 surgical staples in his skull and catching pneumonia in hospital, Ben was taken off a ventilator one week after the accident.’
    • ‘So far 12 students have gone down with the virus and college staff say that unless all students are vaccinated more could catch the disease.’
    • ‘People frequently catch this infection as children or young adults.’
    • ‘If you catch the flu, carefully monitor and control your blood sugar levels and adjust your diabetes medication as needed.’
    • ‘It damages unborn babies, and may cause miscarriage if the mother catches the disease while pregnant.’
    • ‘Thomas, who regularly catches urinary infections, urgently needs surgery to expand his bladder to ensure he will not suffer kidney failure.’
    • ‘At this time it is not clear if the female nurse caught the disease from the patient, or through other sources.’
    • ‘A child with TB may have to stay in the hospital so others do not catch the infection.’
    • ‘At the age of 28, she caught a tropical fever from her patients and died.’
    • ‘And during a disease outbreak, a number of vaccinated people will indeed catch the disease.’
    • ‘Her daughter then caught a fever that carried her off within twenty-four hours.’
    • ‘People normally catch this flu from infected birds, usually chickens and ducks.’
    • ‘The 72-year-old, who suffers from asthma, caught pneumonia while at the hospital.’
    • ‘Some vaccines do not offer life-long immunity and often the disease is far more serious when caught at an older age.’
    • ‘I thought that he had probably caught cat flu and was going to die.’
    • ‘This can help symptoms, but patients are at risk from catching pneumonia or developing an air leak where the lung is re-sealed.’
    • ‘At the time there were about one billion people in the world and about half of those caught this illness.’
    • ‘While catching a disease from your pet is rare, certain groups of people are more likely than others are to become seriously ill from a pet.’
    • ‘The department also called for residents to go to hospitals once they catch a fever or feel soreness in their bones.’
    become infected with, contract, get, take, become ill with, become sick with, fall ill with, fall sick with, be taken ill with, show symptoms of, succumb to, develop, come down with, go down with, sicken for, fall victim to, be struck down with, be stricken with
    View synonyms
  • 8no object Become ignited and start burning.

    ‘the rafters have caught’
    • ‘Shortly a fire caught in the wick of the oil lamp and shed light through the tent.’
    • ‘It took several tries for the tinder to catch in the damp atmosphere.’
    • ‘The house caught and burned completely to the ground.’
    • ‘The flame catches and burns the empty paper to an ash.’
    • ‘She thrust the torch into the funeral bier and watched as the fire caught and spread on the dry wood.’
    • ‘Shrugging, he threw some twigs into the fire, watching them catch and crackle.’
    • ‘Analise poked at the embers, hoping a new fire would catch.’
    • ‘The wood caught, but it burned feebly.’
    • ‘In horror I watched as other men surrounded the circle, all with their own torches trying to get the fire to catch.’
    ignite, become ignited, burn, start burning, flame, catch fire, take fire, burst into flames, flame up, kindle
    View synonyms
    1. 8.1 (of an engine) fire and start running.
      ‘the generator caught immediately’
      • ‘The first two Toyota pickups we got into wouldn't start, even with eight men rocking them to get the engine to catch.’
      • ‘Her hands were shaking - it took her three tries for the ignition to catch.’
      • ‘He turned the car on, waiting for the engine to catch for a minute.’
      • ‘Every time it rained, which was often in Miami, the belt would slip on the pulley and it would take a lot of pumping to get the motor to catch.’
      • ‘With a sudden jolt, the primary engines caught and the ship sped skywards on a comet of light.’
      start, start running, fire, begin working, go, function, operate
      View synonyms


  • 1An act of catching something, typically a ball.

    • ‘Cork's Nicholas Murphy won seven of those kick-outs, including four clean catches.’
    • ‘As Robinson positioned himself and waited for the ball to arrive, he wasn't the only one to realise the importance of a clean catch.’
    • ‘Within five minutes it was clear that the midfield battle was being hopelessly lost with neither a break or a clean catch coming Carlow's way.’
    • ‘Patterson has turned in some acrobatic, diving catches of late.’
    • ‘On one play, he turns around, stops and makes a one-handed catch of an underthrown ball.’
    • ‘Jessica panicked when he missed the catch and the ball came flying to her.’
    • ‘In the 37th minute, the scoring lapse was broken in some style as Conor Phelan made a magnificent catch before sending the ball between the posts.’
    • ‘They've been able to make great catches because the ball is thrown softly.’
    • ‘This would not be a legal catch because the ball is no longer in flight once it hit the umpire who is part of the ground.’
    • ‘Robinson is also a fighter for the ball, and his catches are team boosters.’
    • ‘After watching a quick compilation of plays, it was determined that the receivers were taking their eyes off the ball before making a catch.’
    • ‘Keeper Nicky Roberts - who had a good game otherwise - misjudged the catch and the ball hopped tamely and agonisingly over the goal line.’
    • ‘He continues to make tough catches, runs well after the catch and seems to have a knack for getting open.’
    • ‘He also is a skilled receiver who is productive running with the ball after making a catch.’
    • ‘The last thing you want to do is lose the ball after a good catch.’
    • ‘Smyth bravely made a great catch and played a long ball out of defence aiming for Curry.’
    • ‘They all allowed a high ball to bounce when they could have made the clean catch.’
    • ‘I saw myself fumbling easy catches and looking clumsy.’
    • ‘She made a great catch and shot the ball over the bar for the last score.’
    • ‘Three things are required to make a legal catch of a batted ball.’
    1. 1.1Cricket A chance or act of catching the ball to dismiss a batsman.
      ‘he took a brilliant catch at deep square leg’
      • ‘It has been a long time since we have seen an Indian wicket-keeper who dives headlong for catches.’
      • ‘New Zealand's fielding was also awful with several misfields and dropped catches.’
      • ‘Countless runs were gifted away through shoddy fielding and innumerable dropped catches.’
      • ‘It was also an innings of great catches and easy misses.’
      • ‘He was out caught to a fine catch by Hayward at mid-off just four short of his best of 73 not out.’
    2. 1.2 An amount of fish caught.
      ‘the UK's North Sea haddock catch’
      • ‘Over the last 18 years trawlermen have been told to cut catches and limit days at sea, as efforts to conserve stocks have become more desperate.’
      • ‘Many of us have enjoyed the good old days of huge catches with very few limitations, but those days are long gone as times change.’
      • ‘Our local fishermen are getting reasonable catches of prawns and little fish.’
      • ‘Boats reported a great catch of fish with many boats getting a great variety of species.’
      • ‘Fish stocks and catches are up, and they have the bonus of jobs and diving tourism income.’
      • ‘Winners were Paul Little and Isaac Miller with a fantastic catch, given the conditions, of 12 for 30 lb 9oz.’
      • ‘Some stretches are very well stocked and if you're on fish, multiple catches are common.’
      • ‘Many stillwater fisheries continue to report good catches.’
      • ‘So abundant was the subsequent catch of fish that Peter and the others had to call for help just to get it all into the boats.’
      • ‘The decline in fish catches in the Great Lake and the river below it may not yet be dramatic, but it is taking place for a variety of reasons.’
      • ‘At home catches of white fish have been poor over the last couple of weeks.’
      • ‘The beaches of East Anglia maybe can't produce the numbers of cod they once did, but there are still good catches taken and big fish caught.’
      • ‘Sometimes catches of a hundred fish a boat are not unusual on the Skerries if you are lucky enough to catch the weather and the tides happily coinciding.’
      • ‘Kevin Whincup also advises that a recent consignment of roach into the front pond should see catches continuing through winter.’
      • ‘France, which lands the majority of deep sea fish, is proposing the introduction of the first ever limits on deep-sea catches.’
      • ‘There is still some way to go in reducing catches and fishing fleets before benefits can be felt from bigger and healthier stocks, he said.’
      • ‘He claimed to have evidence of widespread fraudulent reporting of fish catches, falsification of logbooks and illegal fishing in closed areas.’
      • ‘It states that there are no quotas in force limiting catches and sustainable fishing levels need to be investigated as a matter of urgency.’
      • ‘Most of the white fish boats continuing to fish herring with catches varying from good some days to poor other days.’
      • ‘These good catches indicate that there are large numbers of fish passing through every day.’
      haul, net, bag, take, yield, booty, prize
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3informal in singular A person considered desirable as a partner or spouse.
      ‘I mistakenly thought he would be a good catch’
      • ‘If you focus on lifestyle issues, in other words, what you wear, where you live, how much of a catch your partner is, etc, you will turn the control of how you are judged over to other people.’
      • ‘The Shopkeeper was aware that Carl would be considered a good catch for any girl in town.’
      • ‘Grant Delamont, the one catch that every girl dreamed of at Edamont High.’
      • ‘All in all he just wasn't a particularly good catch.’
      • ‘She would be a particularly impressive catch.’
      • ‘It is, in part, this ease that makes you a catch for potential partners.’
      • ‘That disgusting brute had actually been viewed as a decent catch for a local girl because, compared to his neighbours, he lived a good life.’
      eligible man, eligible woman, marriage prospect, match, suitable husband, suitable spouse, suitable wife
      View synonyms
  • 2mass noun A game in which a ball is thrown back and forth between two or more players.

    • ‘He wouldn't be able to hold Robert's hands again, to teach him to throw a ball, to play catch!’
    • ‘Of course you can always bring along some baseball gloves and a ball for a game of catch.’
    • ‘Others kick back on cots and read, while outside a football is tossed in a friendly game of catch.’
    • ‘Feeling bored and tired of waiting for the train to get going we play throw and catch with a ball.’
    • ‘I found the final rather involving, which given that rugby is in essence a game of catch taken extremely seriously is not bad going at all.’
    • ‘Then the first boy pushed me, and I found myself in the middle of an improvised game of catch!’
    • ‘The frenetic action and strategic nuances of this seven-a-side sport also make it feel a long way from a casual game of catch.’
    • ‘Foremost was that pitchers should throw every day, not throw hard, but just lob the ball and play catch to loosen up.’
    • ‘Every now and then we'd pull ourselves from our lazy places in the sand to start up a game of catch with a foam football out in the waves.’
    • ‘They were playing catch with a new-found ball that Justin had lost months ago, all the while everybody else worked.’
    • ‘After a few passes, we were bored of the age-old game of catch.’
    • ‘I can only hope that every boy can enjoy the bond with his father that is the game of catch.’
    • ‘The boys went off to play catch with a football as we set up lunch and then waited for the fireworks to arrive.’
    • ‘I smile and step over their toys, or dodge their plastic balls as they play catch.’
    • ‘Two of them had been playing a game of catch with their friends at the park.’
    • ‘The game's so boring, they're summoning their dogs to have a pat or for a game of catch.’
    • ‘They were playing catch, and each time either would throw the ball, the other would miss and then have to retrieve it.’
    • ‘In addition to having as simple or elaborate meal as you choose, you can bring along a Frisbee or ball to play catch.’
    • ‘The students were led to believe that the players were other students playing a virtual game of catch.’
    • ‘Rubber balls and Frisbees are always a treat for a game of catch.’
  • 3A device for securing something such as a door, window, or box.

    ‘the window catch was rusty’
    • ‘There weren't any zippers, buttons or catches he could find, so it was just a matter of trial and error.’
    • ‘He tapped the bottom of the tool with his palm, and with a quick lift, the catch gave way and the burglar swung open the window.’
    • ‘An inquest held at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court in Bristol heard part of the window catch was broken, meaning it could be pushed open at any time.’
    • ‘There's no catch securing the lid shut, but it's not as if notebooks suddenly flip open by themselves if they're not clasped down.’
    • ‘At present ventilation windows on carriages are secured by two catches spaced about a metre apart.’
    • ‘The catch snapped and the window released slightly.’
    • ‘After cleaning myself I noticed the window catch was off.’
    • ‘Under the lip of the removable cushioned seat she had found a small catch, rusty enough to break two nails.’
    • ‘Running her arms along the upper ridge of the crate, her fingers hit a catch in the wood, and immediately the door released.’
    • ‘Many new windows come with better locks and special catches that allow you to leave a window ajar without permitting a burglar to open it far enough to climb through.’
    • ‘Mark and Rebecca stood, and the three of them hurried over to the windows, searching for levers or catches to pull them open.’
    • ‘He smiled at her, as she undid the catch, and opened the huge wooden door.’
    • ‘The hall was empty, and he pulled his head back and closed the door, sliding the chain from the catch.’
    • ‘He flicked the catch open and eased the door open a few inches.’
    • ‘He tried to close the doors, but the catch was broken and light seeped in.’
    • ‘He will return in a week or so to fit steel bolt locks to all the windows, as it seems the brass catches are next to useless.’
    • ‘Chris stepped on a catch and the floor slid away, causing both Jade and Chris to tumble down into the pit.’
    • ‘Tonight's little jobs will be to get a catch put on the bathroom door because it doesn't stay shut and the cats keep tossing the soap in the bath.’
    • ‘I walked into school, went to my locker, and lifted up on the catch without spinning my combination.’
    • ‘Skillfully, she unlatched the catch and opened the door, allowing Edward and James to enter.’
    latch, lock, fastener, fastening, clasp, hasp, hook, bar, clip, bolt
    View synonyms
  • 4A hidden problem or disadvantage in an apparently ideal situation.

    ‘there's a catch in it somewhere’
    • ‘So, for the time being at least, Hurt is settled in theatre, the only catch being the 10 bananas he must eat each week in the line of duty as Krapp.’
    • ‘Just here, the beach is all yours… though there's one catch.’
    • ‘The project was today welcomed by teenage pregnancy support groups who said there ‘really is no catch.’’
    • ‘But it has a catch; not running correctly can result in painful cramps, sore muscles and maybe broken bones.’
    • ‘The girl looked up at her, too satisfied to care if there were any kind of hidden catches.’
    • ‘Jared was too methodical, never one to take action without looking out for the catch.’
    • ‘Then, to my horror, I discovered there was a catch: You could only use your copy of this font with a single printer!’
    • ‘Before you apply for any new savings account, check the terms and conditions for any catches or restrictions.’
    • ‘At The Bull Hotel on Tuesday, the programme makers reassured residents there were no hidden catches.’
    • ‘The hidden catch here is that in this case, this rule was violated.’
    • ‘My eyes danced about the surface of the coupon, examining each word for hidden meaning, hidden catches, and hidden insight into life itself.’
    • ‘The catch, and there had to be one, is that taxpayers will have to pay back the full cost, with interest, over 30 years.’
    • ‘But if you already have a bunch of Xbox games, there is one little catch.’
    • ‘The catch is that contestants here, apparently not satisfied with simply voting someone off the island, actually try to kill one another.’
    snag, disadvantage, drawback, stumbling block, hitch, fly in the ointment, joker in the pack, pitfall, complication, problem, hiccup, hindrance, difficulty, setback, hurdle, downside, minus
    View synonyms
  • 5in singular An unevenness in a person's voice caused by emotion.

    ‘there was a catch in Anne's voice’
    • ‘Sinjun didn't fail to notice the slight catch in her voice.’
    • ‘He praised the boat and his crew, a tiny catch in his voice when he spoke of her ending her naval life in the boat shed in Cairns.’
    • ‘Karen told them in a scolding tone, but there was a catch in her voice.’
    • ‘There was a catch in her voice, and Eric saw that she was fighting to keep from crying.’
    • ‘‘You can wake me up now,’ she said with a slight catch in her voice.’
    • ‘At other times, he gives his voice just the right catch to sell a subtle moment.’
    • ‘Her response was simple, but he heard the catch of her voice.’
    • ‘But Jay heard the catch in her voice, and pulled away, searching her face.’
    • ‘There was a little catch in Brian's voice when he responded after a long silence.’
    • ‘Her father had told her, often with a catch in his voice, that her mother had died giving her birth.’
    • ‘She frowned slightly, but she had caught the catch in his voice and understood that this was not an issue she should press.’
    • ‘The catch in her voice made him feel even worse for having to explain it again.’
    • ‘There was a catch in Alex's voice as he crushed Vivienne to him.’
    • ‘The doctor even had a catch in the last word he spoke, and then he'd stopped speaking as Aaron saw the lump form in his throat.’
    • ‘‘Gareth says it's nearly time for you to leave,’ she said with a catch in her voice.’
    • ‘Despite his attempt at nonchalance, Jason noticed the catch in his voice immediately.’
    • ‘Sherringham sounded only slightly winded, though there was a catch to his voice.’
    tremor, unevenness, shake, shakiness, quiver, quivering, wobble
    View synonyms
  • 6Music
    A round, typically one with words arranged to produce a humorous effect.

    • ‘The hidden words that popped out as the catch was sung were often comic or off-color.’
    • ‘The best catches combine magnificent musical composition with intricate and inventive poetry.’
    • ‘The catch was one of the most popular forms of song from the mid-Sixteenth through the late-nineteenth centuries.’
    • ‘The catch, a particular form of round based on word-play, was especially popular in Restoration England.’
    • ‘A Catch or Round of the best type of Elizabethan times consisted of one melody, generally perfectly continuous.’


  • catch someone's eye

    • 1Be noticed by someone.

      ‘a vase on a side table caught his eye’
      • ‘Even with all these people shouting and pushing and moving, only one thing caught Matthew 's eye: a small shop on the corner of a road across from where he was standing.’
      • ‘But it was Jessica who caught their eye with her poise and confidence.’
      • ‘Her attention was swayed as a beautiful blue vase caught her eye.’
      • ‘Hop on and off all day long, stopping to see the attractions that catch your eye.’
      • ‘In addition to his general argument I'd draw attention to two other stories that caught my eye.’
      • ‘Nobody is going to pay attention to your online store unless something catches their eye.’
      • ‘How often have you bought a book you'd never heard of, just because it caught your eye in the bookshop?’
      • ‘I love restaurants that run out of things - it guarantees freshness and at the same time it dares you to return on a different day to savour the treat that first caught your eye.’
      • ‘Groups of people were browsing their way through the many beer tents trying whatever caught their eye.’
      • ‘It was the notice about the Italian Cookery School that caught my eye.’
    • 2Attract someone's attention by making eye contact with them.

      ‘he caught Eva's eye and beckoned’
      • ‘I tried to catch his eye, but, although he noticed me, he seemed uninterested in even acknowledging me, let alone starting in conversation.’
      • ‘When she caught his eye, she noticed his lip was trembling, trying to keep the tears in.’
      • ‘Floyd caught my eye for a moment and winked before turning his attention back to Katie.’
      • ‘She told officers she noticed him looking at her and when she caught his eye he immediately crossed the road, grabbed her by the arms and started trying to kick her legs from under her.’
      • ‘After a few minutes she noticed Mrs. Dobbs trying to catch her eye, and so she returned the glance.’
      • ‘I looked up to see what he was talking about and caught Tim 's eye.’
      • ‘I caught Milton 's eye again, and he was grinning ear to ear.’
      • ‘I looked at him hoping to catch his eye but he looked past me without really noticing.’
      • ‘My friend and I had a very attentive waiter who replenished our drinks as soon as we caught his eye.’
      • ‘He didn't even notice when she stopped and tried to catch his eye.’
  • catch it

    • informal Be punished or told off.

      ‘I'll catch it if he finds me here’
      • ‘It's because somewhere, they broke a rule they didn't know about and caught hell for it.’
      • ‘Lately I've been spending too much time in your bars, coming home all hours of the morning and catching hell from my girlfriend.’
      • ‘Some state coordinators are still catching hell for the choices they made.’
      • ‘I remember once going shopping for my Mum, and a friend asked me to get a jelly that her Mum had sent her for. Of course, I’d forgotten that it would be ticked off our rations! I really caught it for that.’
      • ‘Everything I did in life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.’
      • ‘They bought the cheap labor mantra like it was religion and are now catching hell.’
      • ‘They ran out of trolleys that night, and I caught hell from Mr Norton.’
      • ‘And when you're catching hell from both sides, as Brian indicated, you must be doing something right.’
      • ‘The next day I really caught it from my so called buddies about taking her to the dance.’
      • ‘Dave already has caught hell, and lots of it.’
      be reprimanded, be scolded, be rebuked, be taken to task, be admonished, be chastised, be castigated, get into trouble, be hauled over the coals
      View synonyms
  • catch the light

    • Shine or glint in the light.

      ‘small gold hoop earrings caught the light as she turned her head’
      • ‘Try a healthy dose of illumination for your eyes with discreet, shimmery pigments that catch the light and radiate a heart-stopping, soft glow.’
      • ‘Her necklace caught the light and shimmered against her skin.’
      • ‘Its shimmering texture caught the light perfectly.’
      • ‘The crystals that hung form the chandeliers sparkled, almost with life, as they caught the light of each tiny flame, recasting it in a bright array of colors.’
      • ‘Our swords flashed through the air, catching the light.’
      • ‘Her spectacles caught the light from somewhere and glimmered under the straight blonde of her hair.’
      • ‘When she turned away, her earrings caught the light.’
      • ‘A heavy frost has left the garden covered in a sparkling layer of white that catches the light as the sun comes through the clouds.’
      • ‘To play up the effect of the candle light, add some decorative items that will catch the light.’
      • ‘Her eyes are a piercing shade of light blue; when they catch the light, the effect is truly arresting.’
      shine, glimmer, glint, catch the light, glitter, shimmer, glow, sparkle, twinkle, flicker, blink, wink, glisten, flash, flare, beam, fluoresce
      View synonyms
  • catch sight of

    • see sight
      • ‘She picked up a tray then caught sight of a familiar figure studying the food.’
      • ‘On the second floor, walking passed a group of unruly grade eights, I caught sight of soft blonde hair.’
      • ‘I caught sight of an accident on my way to work today.’
      • ‘Instead, we caught sight of this stall selling all sorts of fried items.’
      • ‘Fans and reporters scramble to catch sight of Jackson.’
      • ‘For the first time in ages I caught sight of The Independent.’
      • ‘Pixel narrowed her eyes and caught sight of the target.’
      • ‘I was sitting here feeling very sorry for myself, when I caught sight of your photo.’
      • ‘He ran back to the group and Sarah caught sight of him.’
      • ‘Hoping to catch sight of him, she frequented performances of his plays.’
      • ‘The Doctor catches sight of himself in the mirror.’
      • ‘Catching sight of herself in the warmly lit mirror, she pulled a face.’
      • ‘Returning, I caught sight of a whitetip reef shark resting on the sand.’
      • ‘She threw some cereal in her mouth then caught sight of the seriousness of the moment.’
      • ‘Her eyes then caught sight of an empty milk carton.’
      • ‘Then he stopped short as he caught sight of David standing on his bottom step.’
      • ‘She opened her mouth to reply but first caught sight of my bedside clock.’
      • ‘Looking around in the darkness, Kirby caught sight of someone moving in the trees at the opposite end of the beach.’
      • ‘Kiara caught sight of a familiar face, turning in surprise to see Justin.’
      • ‘Catching sight of the black girls, she stared.’
  • catch the sun

    • 1Be in a sunny position.

      ‘a glassed-in porch that caught the sun’
      • ‘There is a patio looking out over the beach that catches the sun, two TVs with cable channels, a well-stocked room bar and a walk-in closet with ironing board.’
      • ‘The bedrooms are in the first wing, pointing east to catch the sun as it rises in the morning and the other wings catch the sun later in the day.’
      • ‘Facing south and catching the sun, the large rear garden is secluded by conifers.’
      • ‘I shamelessly adapted the idea for an inner-city roof garden that never caught the sun by painting the concrete floor slabs with black and white stone paint.’
      • ‘Stairs lead to a large living/dining area, outside which a terrace looks over the sea and catches the sun until late afternoon.’
      • ‘He chose this mountain due to its height (5700’ above sea level), the soft grainy consistency of the granite, and the fact that it catches the sun for the greatest part of the day.’
      • ‘From the outside, each has its own character - whether it be wide, sweeping steps up to the front door, an elegant, whitewashed garden chair placed to catch the sun, or palm-fronds waving in gravelled front plot.’
      • ‘The Irish Sea has never been balmy, but the sheltered bay in Port Erin caught the sun and meant many happy summers spent frisking in the sand.’
      • ‘The spa's plan was determined by orientation and the need to catch the sun.’
      • ‘In the afternoons, the garden often caught the sun, and on duller days the roses danced and bobbed in the breeze.’
    • 2Become tanned or sunburned.

      • ‘He strolled across the street, noting that Angela had certainly caught the sun.’
      • ‘I think that's perhaps when I caught the sun - and on the walk back home when it was on our backs and necks.’
      • ‘But on the bright side, I really caught the sun yesterday, so at least I don't look quite as horrible as I feel.’
      • ‘My face has turned the colour of a boiled lobster - the polite phrase that grandmothers use is ‘My oh my, you have caught the sun, haven't you?’’
      • ‘‘Oh you've really caught the sun,’ she said, all womanly and concerned.’
  • you wouldn't catch — doing something

    • informal Used to indicate that there is no possibility of the person mentioned doing what is specified.

      ‘you wouldn't catch me walking back to the house alone at night’
      • ‘Usually you wouldn't catch me dead at a movie with such a female perspective, but as I've seen the original, I thought I would give the ‘frumpy’ Bridget another shot.’
      • ‘While you wouldn't catch me, or I'd imagine, most sane people, driving a vehicle out onto a frozen lake, it's fun to watch the people ice fishing, being pulled on skis or just taking a leisurely stroll.’
      • ‘I can assure you, though, that you wouldn't catch me sitting on a dock of a bay this particular shade of rust.’
      • ‘I wonder if the people look down on us queuing up and laugh, thinking you wouldn't catch me in a car.’
      • ‘Goodness me, you wouldn't catch me out there in the early mornings with hair in curlers and a shovel under my arm.’
      • ‘Well, you wouldn't catch me behind the stick of one of those things.’
      • ‘Nowadays you wouldn't catch me in the sea without at least a wetsuit, if not a drysuit.’
      • ‘I've had a lot of fun with terms that are too intricate to vocalize myself, but you wouldn't catch me announcing such an unfortunate phrase in public.’
      • ‘But you wouldn't catch me staring into his eyes.’
      • ‘Oh no, you wouldn't catch me doing that, guv'nor…’

Phrasal Verbs

  • catch on

    • 1(of a practice or fashion) become popular.

      ‘the idea of linking pay to performance has caught on’
      • ‘It was not until 1900 that soccer became popular in France, catching on in the industrial towns of northern France, but the average gate rarely rose above a thousand.’
      • ‘Despite its worldwide popularity golf has never caught on in big way in St Lucia.’
      • ‘Australia's geographic isolation plays a big part in why the practice has caught on.’
      • ‘But there are others who vouch for the success, saying the trend has really caught on.’
      • ‘Halloween's still an American tradition though catching on here fast.’
      • ‘Vinyl fencing is a relatively new product, but is catching on fast.’
      • ‘Christmas markets are popular in Europe and have recently begun to catch on in Britain’
      • ‘If the practice catches on, however, I would like to see it broadened to include more misunderstood groups.’
      • ‘Were you always confident that the idea of having choral groups in the community and performing would catch on the way it has?’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the idea doesn't seem to be catching on very fast.’
      become popular, take off, become fashionable, come into fashion, come into vogue, boom, flourish, thrive
      View synonyms
    • 2Understand what is meant or how to do something.

      ‘I caught on to what it was the guy was saying’
      • ‘Kyle nodded slowly, catching my gaze to see if I'd caught on to the line of questioning.’
      • ‘Taylor came into the conversation late but quickly caught on to the discussion.’
      • ‘Maybe this is a case where Hollywood has actually caught on to the value of free content.’
      • ‘Australian's are getting much better at dancing to our music, they're catching on.’
      • ‘He bent his head down and began kissing my neck and I finally caught on to what he was about to do.’
      • ‘The employee now figures it was a ruse to see if they had caught on to his scheme.’
      • ‘Yet his principles did not let him stay in Berlin once the censors caught on to his tricks.’
      • ‘He's exceptionally smart; he catches on very quickly, and is already learning how to read.’
      • ‘Although I must admit, you catch on faster than anyone I have ever known.’
      • ‘It takes him forever to catch on to the game, and even when he finally understands he still takes no action.’
      understand, comprehend, learn, realize
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1Irish Become aware of something.
        ‘catch yourself on, Michael, people don't get arrested for no reason’
        • ‘Catch yourself on, will you, Kathleen?’
        • ‘Whoever wrote this, catch yourself on please.’
        • ‘Catch yourself on, you're going to either end up dead or in jail.’
        • ‘When you're older you catch yourself on, you just aren't so bothered about fighting.’
        • ‘Jimmy Joe, catch yourself on, are you saying you should only support a team when they're winning?’
  • catch someone out

    • 1Detect that someone has done something wrong or made a mistake.

      ‘his tone suggested he'd caught her out in some misdemeanour’
      • ‘But interestingly, before this was actually arranged, the situation was clarified because his drug use escalated, and he was caught out at work.’
      • ‘Former Manchester United ace Lee Martin was caught out as a benefit cheat while working for the club as a TV pundit.’
      • ‘A couple of weeks ago in the US, the singer was caught out miming to the wrong song.’
      • ‘When Georgia let it slip about that book they're publishing we saw a chance to catch him out and I volunteered to go undercover.’
      • ‘The Government was caught out and exposed, but time and time again we are seeing this Government exercising duplicity in the messages it delivers to New Zealanders.’
      • ‘John snaps, convinced he's caught me out in a lie.’
      • ‘Silence filled the room and she knew she had caught him out.’
      • ‘I only say this because I have been caught out being naive before, and mistaken what I thought was this amazing connection that actually eventuated into, well disaster.’
      • ‘His biggest regret seems to be that he was caught out, not that he did wrong.’
      • ‘They don't have the balls to admit that they were caught out, so they attack and lie and prevaricate and do everything to shuffle out from under it.’
      discover, detect, find, come across, come upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, turn up, expose, find out, unmask
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Put someone in a difficult situation for which they are unprepared.
        ‘you might get caught out by the weather’
        • ‘The going was quite easy apart from the odd deep pot that that catches you out by surprise.’
        • ‘That might not strike you as too difficult, but the final part will surely catch you out.’
        • ‘The stages are very varied, with slow and quick portions and no particular surprises to catch you out, and that's a good thing.’
        • ‘There was a bigger sensation in store in the 66th minute, with Liverpool running out of ideas, they were caught out by a long ball.’
        • ‘Although he was surprised he was not caught out.’
        • ‘Just two miles into the first stage of the day they were caught out by the slippery conditions and slid off the road.’
        • ‘Unfortunately, we were caught out by gearbox problems.’
        • ‘Unfortunately as it happened at Castle Combe a week earlier, qualifying didn't go the youngster's way and in both sessions he was caught out by the session being prematurely ended due to incidents involving other cars.’
        • ‘The bite point on a new clutch caught me out today, and I stalled on the green flag lap.’
        • ‘It's a favourite trick companies use to catch you out - your monthly payments are put towards the original transferred debt while your new spending goes to the back of the queue collecting interest until it reaches the front.’
        take by surprise, catch unawares, catch off guard, catch red-handed, catch in the act, catch napping, catch out, burst in on, catch someone with their pants down, catch someone with their trousers down, catch in flagrante delicto
        View synonyms
    • 2Cricket
      Dismiss a batsman by catching the ball before it touches the ground.

      • ‘Or more tantalisingly, had they justly been given an earlier crack at the Australian middle order after catching Ponting out early in his innings only to see the delivery wrongfully ruled a no-ball.’
      • ‘After 75 minutes Blanc just managed to nick a ball away from Basturk as he waited to strike, but the ball came flashing back in and caught Nicky Butt out.’
      • ‘Opening the second innings the batsman was caught out for a duck.’
      • ‘Australia's Simon Katich is caught out by England's Marcus Trescothick.’
  • catch up

    • 1Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.

      ‘he stopped and waited for Lily to catch up’
      • ‘She kept going further ahead and then turning to wait for them to catch up, as Matthew couldn't move very fast.’
      • ‘The lorry had caught up with her by the time she'd reached the junction to cross the road.’
      • ‘The poet hurried to catch up, and when he reached the river, he too stopped and looked around.’
      • ‘I caught up with them, overtook them and stood blocking their path.’
      • ‘They quickly ran forward and caught up with him as he reached the door.’
      • ‘Police radioed ahead and caught up with the gang as they passed the highway patrol office.’
      • ‘Pocketing the object, he ran ahead to catch up with his friend.’
      • ‘David nodded and they both ran on to ahead to catch up with the man.’
      • ‘She broke into a jog, trying to catch up to him before he reached the next piazza a hundred metres down.’
      • ‘He picked up his speed, not even thinking as far ahead to what he would do if he did catch up with her, he just wanted to get to her.’
      draw level, draw level with
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Do tasks which one should have done earlier.
        ‘he normally used the afternoons to catch up on paperwork’
        • ‘It's amazing how much I have to catch up on considering I've been absent for such a short time.’
        • ‘Monday saw me back at work; I hit the ground running as there was quite a bit to catch up on.’
        • ‘I really have to catch up on my email, you know what it's like when you're out of the office for a few days.’
        • ‘Oh, and there's a backlog of domestic and business stuff to catch up on.’
        • ‘The justices added he would not be tagged the days he was at college and that meant he would have plenty of time at home to catch up on his work.’
        • ‘Work is settling down though I still have quite a few things to catch up on after the trip.’
        • ‘Public holidays are when I catch up on household chores and visit my ailing parents.’
        • ‘I am never on top of my work and forever trying to catch up on paper work.’
        • ‘I sat down after dinner to catch up on correspondence but found my eyes drooping almost immediately.’
        • ‘I like having the place to myself, though I have a bunch of housework to catch up on.’
  • catch up with

    • 1Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.

      ‘you go with Stasia and Katie, and I'll catch up with you’
      • ‘As I began to catch up with him I shouted to a passer by to help me stop him, which he did.’
      • ‘There were policemen running after him, but it was clear just by the photo that they had no chance of catching up with them.’
      • ‘He started peddling faster, and within seconds caught up with her, and passed her.’
      • ‘The twins had caught up with their younger sister, and both of them began to speak at once.’
      • ‘He flashed a smile when Matt caught up with him and began walking again.’
      • ‘I felt myself begin to quicken my pace to catch up with my boyfriend.’
      • ‘She managed to catch up with him and grab the bike, then began calling out for help.’
      • ‘So I started to cycle as fast as I could and soon began to catch up with the other cyclists.’
      • ‘They had actually reached the car when he caught up with them.’
      • ‘I shook my head slightly at those thoughts and jogged a little faster, catching up with Matt and Liz ahead.’
    • 2Talk to (someone) whom one has not seen for some time in order to find out what they have been doing.

      ‘it's a chance to catch up with old friends’
      • ‘It was great having a chance to catch up with you over lunch today.’
      • ‘Two female former schoolmates whom I caught up with two weeks ago also found themselves single recently.’
      • ‘Still, it was great to catch up with so many old friends and workmates.’
      • ‘Like all these things, it was a good chance to catch up with old friends!’
      • ‘It was great to get the chance to catch up with each other.’
      • ‘Pat said the evening was a chance to catch up with old friends and was thoroughly enjoyable.’
      • ‘After breakfast I went into our Canberra office and caught up with some old colleagues which was strangely reassuring.’
      • ‘Communal meals in the dining hall allow you a chance to catch up with friends and make new ones.’
      • ‘Last month I had a chance to catch up with Matt and discuss the book.’
      • ‘I must admit I was mostly pleased to not be at work and to have the chance to catch up with a few people.’
    • 3Begin to have a damaging effect on.

      ‘the physical exertions began to catch up with Sue’
      • ‘She tried to keep her eyes open but the sleepless day was beginning to catch up with her.’
      • ‘The cracks in their marriage begin to show when Tom's sinister past catches up with him and the pair set off an escalating spiral of suspicion, greed and betrayal.’
      • ‘My patient's unhealthy lifestyle began to catch up with him peripheral vascular disease, a stroke, and then angina.’
      • ‘They began sparring again, but Kristy soon found that her lack of proper amounts of sleep was beginning to catch up with her.’
      • ‘As my body began to warm up and relax, exhaustion caught up with me and I drifted in and out of a feverish half-sleep.’
      • ‘Vinnie Roe is a wonderfully brave horse but old age is catching up with him.’
      • ‘All these days and nights without sleep were beginning to catch up with him.’
      • ‘They were forced to move out of their home, in the upmarket Morningside area of Edinburgh, and into care when old age caught up with them.’
      • ‘Eventually his legion of injuries began to catch up with him.’
      • ‘As time passes and the booze catches up with her, she dozes off.’
  • catch someone up

    • 1Succeed in reaching a person who is ahead of one.

      ‘you go with Tess and I'll catch you up’
      • ‘‘Whoops, forgot about the slowpoke guys,’ Esmée teased, ‘We'll catch you up, you go ahead and get tickets and such.’’
      • ‘A submarine could barely make half this speed - hence the tactic of sailing ahead and anticipating the surface fleet catching you up.’
      • ‘In a third of the time he's already caught me up and in the next few weeks he will zoom ahead.’
    • 2Become involved in (something that one had not intended to become involved in)

      ‘he had no desire to be caught up in political activities’
      • ‘Any of us could have been in the shops on the street on Friday and been caught up in what happened.’
      • ‘The first lap of today's race was quite dramatic and it was very important to me to avoid getting caught up in that.’
      • ‘Did I intend to get caught up in some weird drama with a bunch of people I don't know?’
      • ‘There are some things that you got caught up in then that you might have regrets about now.’
      • ‘My Uncle Victor got caught up in the civil war in Nicaragua whilst on a cycling tour of Central America.’
      • ‘What if, like so many others, I was caught up in this terrible tangle of lives that led nowhere?’
      • ‘Let's just watch wrestling and stop getting caught up in all this debate!’
      • ‘The Christmas shopping phenomena has begun and I really do not want to get caught up in that again.’
      • ‘The holiday season is upon us and there's no reason to get caught up in all the madness that is mall shopping.’
      • ‘Why do so many investors get caught up in small speculative companies?’
  • catch something up

    • Pick something up hurriedly.

      ‘she caught up her jacket and bag and walked to the door’
      • ‘She caught up her skirts and moved closer.’
      • ‘Before security realised the danger, this man caught up the weapon and ran through Government Buildings until he reached the offices of the Department of Finance.’
      • ‘He strode down the hall and descended the stairs two at a time, catching up his overcoat.’
      • ‘He stood silently as she caught up the gym bag which, he knew, held her regular clothes and the books she would be taking home with her.’
      • ‘He caught up his bag and ran towards her.’


Middle English (also in the sense ‘chase’): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French cachier, variant of Old French chacier, based on Latin captare ‘try to catch’, from capere ‘take’.