Synonyms of catch in English:


See definition of catch


1‘he caught the ball’


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

receive, acquire, get, come into possession of, intercept



2‘we've caught a dangerous thief’


capture, seize

apprehend, take, arrest, lay hold of, take prisoner, take captive, take into custody, haul in

trap, snare, ensnare

net, hook, reel in, land, beach, bag

informal nab, collar, run in, pinch, bust, pull in, do, feel someone's collar

British informal nick



3‘the heel of Gloria's shoe had caught in a hole’


become trapped, become stuck, stick, become wedged, become entangled, become snarled up, become snagged, snag

4‘she caught the 7.45 bus’


be in time for, reach in time, make, get to

board, get on, enter, go on board, go aboard, step aboard, mount, ascend, embark

informal hop on, jump on

formal embus, entrain, emplane


miss, alight

5‘they were caught siphoning petrol from a car’


discover, detect, find, come across, come upon, stumble on, chance on, light on, bring to light, turn up, expose, find out, unmask

surprise, take by surprise, catch unawares, catch off guard, catch red-handed, catch in the act, catch out, burst in on

6‘it was the business scheme that had caught his imagination’


engage, capture, attract, draw, gain, grab, arrest, seize, hold, win, absorb, engross, rivet, grip, captivate, bewitch

7‘she caught a faint trace of discreet aftershave’


perceive, notice, observe, discern, detect, note, become aware of, make out, spot, see

British informal clock



8‘I had to strain my ears to catch what she was saying’


hear, perceive, recognize, discern, make out

understand, comprehend, grasp, take in, fathom, puzzle out, apprehend, get to the bottom of, unravel, decipher

follow, keep up with

informal get, get the drift of, get the hang of, catch on to, latch on to, make head or tail of, figure out, get the picture, get the message

British informal twig, suss out, suss

9‘the scenes caught the flavour of London in the sixties’


evoke, conjure up, suggest, summon up, call to mind, recall, express, reproduce, represent, show, encapsulate, capture, record

film, photograph, draw, paint

10‘the blow caught her on the side of her face’


hit, strike, slap, smack, crack, bang, connect with, contact



11‘he served in Macedonia, where he caught malaria’


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

British go down with

informal take ill with

North American informal take sick with


shake off, escape

12‘as the kindling caught he added larger pieces of wood’


ignite, become ignited, burn, start burning, flame, catch fire, take fire, burst into flames, flame up, kindle


go out

13‘the generator caught immediately’


start, start running, fire, begin working, go, function, operate




1‘he scooped up the net to inspect the catch’


haul, net, bag, take, yield, booty, prize

2‘Giles is a good catch for any girl’


eligible man, eligible woman, marriage prospect, match, suitable husband, suitable spouse, suitable wife

3‘he put a hand inside the window, trying to slip the catch’


latch, lock, fastener, fastening, clasp, hasp, hook, bar, clip, bolt

Scottish sneck, snib

4‘the suspicious customer is always looking for the catch’


snag, disadvantage, drawback, stumbling block, hitch, fly in the ointment, joker in the pack, pitfall, complication, problem, hiccup, hindrance, difficulty, setback, hurdle, downside, minus

trap, trick, snare, wile, dodge

British disbenefit

informal ploy, con

5‘there was a catch in her voice’


tremor, unevenness, shake, shakiness, quiver, quivering, wobble


    catch it

      ‘I'll catch it if he finds me here’


      be reprimanded, be scolded, be rebuked, be taken to task, be admonished, be chastised, be castigated, get into trouble, be hauled over the coals


      be told off, be for it, be for the high jump, get into deep water, get into hot water, get into shtook, get a dressing-down, get an earful, get a roasting, get a rocket, get a rollicking, get a rap over the knuckles, get a slap on the wrist

    catch on

      1‘as radio caught on, politicians became increasingly aware of the medium's power’


      become popular, take off, become fashionable, come into fashion, come into vogue, boom, flourish, thrive


      become trendy, become all the rage

      2‘it's double Dutch to me at the moment, but I catch on fast’


      understand, comprehend, learn, realize

      find out, see the light, see daylight, work out what's going on, get the point


      cotton on, tumble, latch on, get the picture, get the message, get the drift, get wise, see what's what, understand what's what

      British informal


    catch (someone) up

      ‘he stopped and waited for Lily to catch up’