Definition of catch someone out in English:

catch someone out

phrasal verb

  • 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
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    1. 1.1 Put 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
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  • 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.’