Definition of catch-all in English:



  • usually as modifier A term or category that encompasses a variety of different elements.

    ‘the stigmatizing catch-all term ‘schizophrenia’’
    • ‘Restructuring is a catch-all term, used by companies in trouble who need to change or risk losing business as well as successful ones who want to keep their edge.’
    • ‘‘Antisocial behaviour’ is used as a catch-all term to describe anything from noisy neighbours and graffiti to kids hanging out on the street.’
    • ‘It would seem that it has become a catch-all excuse and is employed even when not applicable.’
    • ‘Optics is a catch-all term for the binoculars and scopes so essential to bird watching.’
    • ‘It's not, and it shouldn't be used as a kind of catch-all term to mean a big, powerful country.’
    • ‘The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ documentary is a catchy but catch-all term used to describe a variety of observational documentary forms.’
    • ‘The very term ‘web hosting’ is something of a catch-all title for an incredibly diverse industry.’
    • ‘Those on both sides of the argument were united in the call for ‘compromise’, but acknowledged the difficulties of a catch-all solution.’
    • ‘On the rare occasion anyone asks what I am, I tell them I'm a Non-denominational spiritualist, which is a nice catch-all term which gets a laugh and covers all the bases.’
    • ‘Anti-terrorism provisions should not be used as a catch-all solution.’
    • ‘At present most cases are brought under the catch-all heading of breach of the peace, which means repeated offences can be overlooked on sentencing.’
    • ‘His assessment: ‘I think pop is the catch-all music category they use to put all the people they're not sure what to do with.’’
    • ‘Once this term began to be used, specificity disappeared and it became a catch-all phrase for all problematic Nigerian metalwork.’
    • ‘Eczema is a catch-all term for a number of different skin problems; the most common type, atopic dermatitis, is an allergic condition.’
    • ‘Mixed martial arts - the catch-all name for such competitions - has been struggling to escape its own history.’
    • ‘Not that the catch-all term ‘flavouring’ on the label is designed to arouse any suspicions about the synthetic formulations within.’
    • ‘They are catch-all phrases that perhaps do not speak the intricacy of what they really mean.’
    • ‘Addressing this problem is no easy matter, not because of its global dimensions and its Sisyphean predilections, but because there is no catch-all solution.’
    all-in, all-inclusive, with everything included, comprehensive, in toto
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